Terming the Central Bureau of Investigation’s closure report in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege case “bad in law”, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda on Thursday said the national agency had no jurisdiction in the matter after the State government withdrew the cases from it last year. “The CBI lost all authority and jurisdiction to continue with any investigation in the cases, much less to file a closure report, after the State government issued a formal notification to withdraw the cases from the agency in September 2018,” said Mr. Nanda. He said that instead of filing the closure report, the correct legal course for the CBI would have been to inform the court that it was no longer charged with the investigation. The CBI had on July 4 filed a closure report in the three Bargari sacrilege cases of 2015 in the special CBI court in Mohali. Mr. Nanda also expressed surprise at the CBI’s stand that the State of Punjab was a stranger to the events, and thus not entitled to a copy of the closure report. “This stand was absurd, considering that the agency itself had, in its closure report, cited the ‘reports’ and ‘inputs’ of the Punjab police,” he added. ‘Dubious role’Meanwhile, Punjab Ekta Party president Sukhpal Singh Khaira accused the Chief Minister of playing a “dubious role” in the cases of sacrilege and asking the CBI to reopen the cases . “The Chief Minister failed to implement the resolution passed by the Vidhan Sabha to take back the cases from the CBI. On one hand, he advocated that the cases be probed by the SIT of Punjab police, while on the other he is asking the CBI to reopen the cases. This raises serious questions about his intentions,” said Mr. Khaira.
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