The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday dismissed as infructuous a plea filed last month claiming that radical preacher Amritpal Singh was in the “illegal custody” of police, a day after his arrest in Punjab’s Moga district.
Imaan Singh Khara, the legal advisor of Amritpal Singh and his outfit ‘Waris Punjab De’, had moved the habeas corpus plea on March 19, seeking the production of the preacher from alleged police custody.
In earlier court hearings, the state of Punjab had maintained that Amritpal Singh had neither been detained nor arrested. The court had even asked the petitioner to show evidence that the radical preacher was in illegal custody.
The Punjab Police arrested Amritpal Singh in Rode village in Moga district early Sunday, ending an over a month-long manhunt against the radical preacher who styled himself after slain Khalistani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Khara told reporters after the hearing that as Amritpal Singh has now been detained under the National Security Act (NSA) and sent to the Dibrugarh Central Jail in Assam on April 23, the petition has been dismissed as infructuous.
The preacher was taken into custody at 6.45 am as he came out of a gurdwara in Rode, Bhindranwale’s native village and also the place where he himself took over last year as the chief of ‘Waris Punjab De’.
The 29-year-old Khalistan sympathiser was detained under the stringent NSA and flown to Assam on a special flight to be lodged at the Dibrugarh Central Jail.
Police had last month launched a major crackdown against the preacher and his outfit’s members.
Amritpal Singh had escaped the police net in Jalandhar district on March 18, switching vehicles and changing appearances.
He and his associates were booked under several criminal cases related to spreading disharmony among classes, attempt to murder, attack on police personnel and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duty by public servants.
The bench of Justice N S Shekhawat has fixed May 1 as the next date in the matter of pleas filed by relatives of Amritpal Singh’s associates– Daljit Singh Kalsi, Gurmit Singh, Kulwant Singh, Varinder Singh Fauji, Bhagwant Singh Pardhanmantri Bajeke and Basant Singh.
The relatives of the NSA detenues had sought quashing of detention orders.
Simranjit Singh, the counsel for Kalsi’s wife, has submitted that they want to file an amended petition.
He said that the petitioner would now challenge the grounds of detention orders.
In the previous hearing in the matter, the Punjab government had informed the high court that Daljit Singh Kalsi, a close associate of Amritpal Singh, was supporting the preacher in professing radical ideology and also abetting to wage a war against the state for a separate nation — Khalistan.
The state government had also told the court that Sarabjit Singh Kalsi alias Daljit Singh Kalsi has been detained under the NSA after following the due process of law.
Kalsi’s wife had alleged that her husband was wrongfully and illegally confined by Punjab police and was sent to the central jail in Dibrugarh without any legal valid reason and proper procedure.