The Supreme Court on Monday said the death of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala should not be given a “political colour”, as it turned down a demand for a CBI probe into the daylight murder.
The apex court made the comments while hearing a petition filed by the father of the main accused, seeking protection for his son who is currently in the custody of Punjab Police.
“All parties are equal to us. Our view is that there is no place for political parties in such matters and it hardly matters who is from which party. The doors of this court are open to all, but it (the case in hand) should not be given any political colour,” a bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S Oka said.
The SC today heard two petitions related to the incident at Jawaharke in Mansa district of Punjab, where Moosa Wala, along with an associate, were shot dead on May 29.
The singer was reportedly a Congress leader, and his security cover, along with more than 400 others, was withdrawn by the new Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government just a day before the incident.
One of the petitions was filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jagjit Singh for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing, while the other plea was filed by Lawinder Singh, the father of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi who is in police custody in connection with the crime.
The bench allowed petitioner Jagjit Singh to withdraw his plea after his lawyer Namit Saxena told the court, “I have instructions not to press this petition. If they (Punjab Police) were not taking steps, I would have pressed for my prayer (for CBI probe).” When the top court wished to know the credentials of the petitioner, Saxena said he belonged to the BJP and had contested as a party candidate for the Mansa assembly seat.
The Punjab Police is taking care of the case. Why are you politicising the matter,” the bench told the petitioner. Saxena said he was not trying to politicise the issue, but moved the petition when there was no headway in the probe.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of the Punjab government, informed SC that Bishnoi has 57 FIRs of murder and extortion against him, and through his father is now challenging the arrest warrant obtained by the Punjab Police.
“We have information that he was in touch with international shooters to shoot the singer. For this we want to investigate him and take him into custody. Now he says that you cannot take me on an arrest warrant,” Singhvi told the court.
Bishnoi’s father claimed there was serious threat to his son in custody and is worried that his son will be executed in an extrajudicial killing by the state police. Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary, appearing for the father along with advocate Nikhil Jain, said, “I apprehend my son’s safety. We have information that he (Lawrence Bishhnoi) is being taken to Amritsar. Let his safety be ensured by the court.”
Since Chaudhary was appearing via video conferencing, the bench asked him to appear in person and posted the matter for Monday. The bench said, “The state has already come forward in this matter. This means that they are more concerned about him (Bishnoi).”
Bishnoi’s father in his petition referred to an earlier order passed by the apex court on February 4, 2021 that stayed an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana high court, allowing his son to be taken from Rajasthan to Chandigarh in connection with an offence registered in Chandigarh after concerns of his safety.
According to the petition, in the present case relating to Moosa Wala murder probe, the Mansa court issued arrest warrants against Bishnoi on June 13 and a day later, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Delhi’s Patiala House court granted transit remand to Punjab Police to take him out of Delhi in violation of SC’s February 2021 order.
Later, on June 15, the magistrate court at Mansa remanded Bishnoi in police custody for a week, which has since been extended. The Punjab Police claimed that Bishnoi admitted to being the mastermind behind Moosa Wala’s killing.