Chandigarh : Less than a week after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu cognizance of a news report on alleged harassment meted out to a whistleblower for exposing “illegal activities” of a politically influential company, a Division Bench yesterday asked the state of Punjab to verify the veracity of the allegations. As the case came up for hearing, the Bench of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ajay Tewari directed state counsel Rupinder Khosla to verify the facts in the news item and report to the court within 10 days. The Bench also fixed July 27 as the next date of hearing in the case.
In a related development, Justice Gurdev Singh of the high court granted interim anticipatory bail to two relatives of “harassed whistleblower ” Samdeep Mohan Varghese. Justice Gurdev Singh also issued notice of motion for August 10 on the petition by Dr KA Koshy and Nalani.
In their petition filed through counsel Puneet Bali, the petitioners --- doctors by profession --- had expressed apprehension regarding arrest in the case registered by the Punjab police against Varghese. Bali contended the petitioners had nothing to do with the alleged offence. As a result of political pressure, the Punjab police wanted to harass them. Bali also asserted that they failed to understand why the issue raised by Varghese, the petitioners’ brother, was pinching the state government.
In his orders taking suo motu cognizance, Chief Justice Mudgal had earlier asserted: “The news report highlights the highhandedness of the Punjab Police, which is out to help Jay-Polychem, a politically influential company, which has filed a complaint against ex-employee Samdeep Mohan Varghese with the Rajpura police, who had dared to make a complaint against company, disclosing instances of money laundering, circular trading in diamonds and other financial irregularities committed by company”.