Sidhu Moosewala killing: What is transit remand that allowed transfer of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi to Punjab

In Lawrence Bishnoi’s case, the gangster is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail facing a trial for an offence committed under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

In Lawrence Bishnoi’s case, the gangster is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail facing a trial for an offence committed under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Lawrence Bishnoi is being questioned at length in the singer Sidhu Moosewala murder case by Punjab Police, which got the transit remand of the gangster by a Delhi court. The Punjab Police demanded the gangster’s remand on basis of the confessions made by him which clearly pointed out that he had tasked the co-accused to carry out the “planned killing of Sidhu Moosewala”. 

“The same has been corroborated by the upload on social media wherein Lawrence Bishnoi has taken responsibility for carrying out the planned murder of Sidhu Moose Wala. Delhi Police had questioned the said accused Lawrence Bishnoi, and they have clearly stated that Lawrence Bishnoi was the key conspirator in the planned murder of Sidhu Moosewala via press conferences,” Punjab Police said.

The request for transit remand was approved by the Patiala House Court earlier this week. The court directed that Bishnoi’s medical test be done before taking him to Punjab, adding that he would be handcuffed and shackled, and he would be taken in a bullet-proof vehicle.

Following the order, the Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) immediately took Bishnoi into custody and reached Mansa in the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday. Bishnoi was produced in court around 4 am on Wednesday and now is in seven-day police custody. 

While police remand is quite a familiar term, transit remand is something which is not known to many. 

Keeping it simple, transit remand is the remand of the accused, sought by the police, for taking him from one location to another in their own custody, usually for the purpose of producing him before the concerned Magistrate who has jurisdiction to hear the case. 

The primary purpose of transmit remand is to enable the police to shift the accused from the place of arrest to the place nowhere the matter can be investigated and tried. 

The police may also seek transit remand when an accused is in jail (either during the investigation, during trial or post conviction), and he is also an accused in a case which has to be investigated and tried in a different district. 

To get transit remand of the accused, the police approached the concerned court which may grant such permission to transfer the accused and produce him before the court where he has to be tried for another case. 

In Lawrence Bishnoi’s case, the gangster is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail facing a trial for an offence committed under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

As per the rules, the police authorities seeking transit remand must forward the case diary to the magistrate and the police official applying for remand much not be an officer below Sub Inspector rank. The reason given by the police to seek transit remand shall be recorded in the court.

Also, the law says that a transit remand can only be sought from and granted by a judicial magistrate. However, an exception to this is that in the event a judicial magistrate isn’t available, an executive magistrate can grant the order for a period not exceeding seven days, after the expiry of which the accused must either be produced before the competent magistrate or be released on bail.

Bishnoi, when interrogated by Delhi Police Special Cell, admitted to his gang’s involvement in the killing of Moosewala, which he said was a revenge of Youth Akali leader Vicky Middukhera. Bishnoi came under the scanner after Canada-based Goldy Brar — an active member of the gang — claimed responsibility for the murder.

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