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In a recent development, the Punjab and Haryana High court has adjourned the senior Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia’s anticipatory bail plea in the drug case. The court will hear the matter on January 5, 2022.

The hearing was to take place in physical court despite the request for a virtual hearing. In the court hearing, senior advocate P. Chidambaram was to represent the Punjab government, while the accused SAD leader was to be represented by advocate Mukul Rohtagi. The hearing, however, was adjourned after the senior attorneys were unable to be present.

The Shiromani Akali Dal leader Majithia on Monday moved to the High Court seeking anticipatory bail. His counsel, Damanbir Singh Sobti and Arshdeep Singh Cheema argued in the petition that "targeting the applicant/petitioner is one of the major election planks of the current government" in Punjab.

The bail plea by Akali Dal leader maintains that the Congress government had “left no stone unturned to misuse its powers and position for wreaking vengeance upon its political opponents”.

The plea also takes a dig at current Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya. It reads “he has been appointed, as is well known, to please the Punjab Pradesh Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu, the arch political rival of the petitioner, and….to act as a tool to advance the political interests of the present government”.

Majithia was earlier denied anticipatory bail by Mohali court on December 24.

The 46 year old leader was booked last week under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, based on a 2018 report from a Punjab drug investigation.

Majithia is the brother-in-law of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and the brother of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a former Union minister. Majithia had previously refuted all of the charges levelled against him. The registration of the FIR against Majithia was called "political vendetta" by the Shiromani Akali Dal.

The FIR against the senior SAD leader has been filed just months ahead of crucial Punjab elections. The development is likely to have a negative impact on the vote bank of Shiromani Akali Dal in the upcoming elections. 

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