The Punjab and Haryana HC ruled that Saini's arrest violated the court's three earlier orders and ordered his immediate release.
Former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau on August 18, was released from the department’s custody yesterday on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court had earlier termed his arrest as ‘patently illegal. The court gave the verdict while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by Sumedh Singh Saini’s wife a day after his arrest. Saini was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau in connection with of cheating, forgery, corruption and other offences registered against him in September 2020.
The HC ruled that Saini’s arrest violated the court’s three earlier orders and ordered his immediate release. Saini’s counsel contended that he was arrested illegally in FIR No. 11, dated September 17, 2020. He alleged mala fides, malice and ulterior motives as a result of political vendetta behind his arrest. Saini was already granted interim anticipatory bail in FIR No. 13, dated August 2. The order prevented police from arresting Saini in any case related to alleged offences during his service tenure and mandated that the former DGP be issued a notice a week before arrest.
However, the defence counsel contented in the court that Saini was arrested in a case that did not have any link to his service career and thus did not violate HC order. According to a report by The Indian Express, quoting a senior Punjab Police officer, Saini was arrested in the forgery case related to a Chandigarh house that he bought using fake documents.
“The said allegations could not form part of another FIR… Therefore arrest of the detenue on substantially the same allegations is patently illegal,” said the bench in its order.
Saini was a 1982-batch IPS officer. Saini was appointed the Director-General of Police (DGP) in 2012 and was removed in 2015 after protests erupted over a series of sacrilege incidents in the state. He retired from the service in 2018.