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THE Supreme Court on June 18 dismissed the special leave petition filed by the Punjab government challenging the anticipatory bail granted to former chief minister Amarinder Singh and others by the Punjab and Haryana high court in the Rs 3,000-crore Ludhiana City Centre scam case.
A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice P P Naolekar asked the state government to approach the high court on the matter and also directed the high court to keep in view the apex court’s earlier rulings on the grant of anticipatory bail while deciding on the issue.

The bench asked the high court to consider the apex court’s directions particularly in the Adi Dharam Das case wherein it held that there cannot be any permanent anticipatory bail or blanket relief on pre-arrest bail pleas. However, the apex court posted for further hearing the Punjab government’s challenge to the anticipatory bail granted to Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh and former local-self government minister Jagjit Singh in connection with the scam.

The Punjab and Haryana high court in the case of Amarinder Singh and some others had granted an anticipatory bail after issuing notices to the state government, which was interpreted by the Parkash Singh Badal administration as interim bail. In the case of Raninder Singh and Jagjit Singh, the high court had granted anticipatory bail by disposing the matter, which is seen as a permanent relief to the accused.

The Punjab government had challenged the grant of anticipatory bail on the ground that the accused cannot be granted any such relief since the investigations were at a crucial stage. However, the apex court after examining the matter, issued notices to Jagjit Singh and Raninder Singh, but declined to interfere with the relief granted to Captain Amarinder Singh.

But the Punjab government was slightly relieved as the apex court directed the high court to advance the date of hearing on the plea for cancellation of Amarinder Singh’s anticipatory bail to July 4 instead of July 30.

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