Express News Service, Chandigarh, Februray 4:

Secretary of Lawyers of Human Rights International (LHRI) Arvind Thakur today issued a statement to the media in which he stated that BKI Chief Jagtar Singh Hawara had authorised Thakur and Amar Singh Chahal to file a Contempt of Court petition against Maninder Jit Singh Bitta, President of All India Anti-Terrorist Front, for issuing adverse statements against Hawara’s counsels in the ongoing Beant Singh assassination trial. In a press conference yesterday, Bitta had reportedly issued statements that Thakur and Chahal were bringing a bad name to the legal profession by saving terrorists like Hawara.

Talking to Newsline, Thakur said, ‘‘Bitta has no right to comment on the ongoing Beant Singh assassination case. As per Constitution, every person has a right to defence, and so does Hawara. Today, he gave an authority letter to me and Chahal in which he had asked us to file a Contempt of Court petition against Bitta as the latter was trying to affect the trial by giving adverse remarks. We will be filing a petition within two to three days.’’

Thakur added that Additional District and Sessions Judge M.M. Sharma, who is presiding over the trial, had reported some pain in the chest as a result of the heated argument between the counsels of Hawara and CBI officials. As a result, the case was adjourned till February 6.

Chief investigation officer of Beant Singh assassination trial, S.N. Saksena, who is at present SP CBI in Mumbai, was cross-examined today.