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AAP’s Punjab ally comes to its rescue, alleges attempt to bribe judge against Leader of Opposition

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Lok Insaaf Party, an ally of AAP, alleges an attempt was being made to bribe a judge to get an order against Sukhpal Singh Khaira in a drug smuggling case.

Chandigarh: The Lok Insaaf Party (LIF), an ally of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, Monday gave a fresh twist to the drug smuggling controversy involving AAP legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

It alleged that an attempt was being made to bribe a high court judge to get an adverse order against Khaira, who was summoned by a district court in a drug smuggling case.

The claim was made at a press conference Monday morning, just before the first day of the assembly session began.

Khaira had moved the high court challenging the summons (through non-bailable warrants) from an additional sessions judge in Fazilka district in a 2015 case of trans-border drug smuggling. Apart from Khaira, his security officer and personal assistant are among those who were summoned.

Quashing the non-bailable warrants, the high court had nonetheless upheld the summons and asked Khaira to join the trial.

Both the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal launched a trenchant attack on Khaira demanding that he be sacked by the AAP or himself resign on moral grounds.

The three-day session of the Punjab assembly that began Monday was expected to be a one-sided anti-Khaira affair. However, the press conference alleging that Khiara’s detractors were behind his implication in the case has put the treasury benches on the defensive.

Though chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh refused to be drawn into the controversy, he advised Khaira to place whatever he had to say by way of defence in the trial court.

Releasing a purported audio recording about the alleged attempts to influence the judiciary against Khaira, LIP legislators Simarjit Singh Bains and his brother Balwinder Singh demanded a CBI probe into the whole episode.

The recording allegedly features a former Punjab law officer claiming before a former PCS officer that he had played a vital role in getting Khaira’s plea in the high court dismissed.

Khaira said he was shocked by the contents of the audio recording and welcomed the demand for a CBI probe.

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