Ludhiana police on Saturday arrested Karamjit Singh Pines, while his brother Simarjit Singh Pines, president of the Lok Insaf Party (LIP) and former MLA, remains at large in the alleged rape case of a 44-year-old woman.
Simarjeet Singh Bains is a former MLA twice from Ludhiana’s Atam Nagar constituency.
In April, a district court in Ludhiana declared Semarjit and the other defendants in the case “stated criminals” after they failed to appear before the hearings and the police failed to arrest them. The previous Legal Aid Act was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court which also rejected his petition to overturn the order, which was declared criminal.
Ludhiana Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP, Rural) Ravcharan Singh Prair said, “Karamjit Singh Bains have been arrested from Ranjit Road where the new family home was under construction. We are also in the process of seizing their property and confiscating bank accounts as per court orders.”
The complainant in the case had criticized Ludhiana police for not arresting Semarjit due to “political pressure” despite publicly campaigning and addressing public gatherings ahead of this year’s Punjab elections.
Simarjeet Singh Bains, 52, founder and president of LIP, was booked in an alleged rape case brought by a 44-year-old woman last year. She had alleged that the former lawmaker ‘raped’ her multiple times in 2020 when she called the MLA for help with a property dispute case. The FIR is filed against Simarjeet, his two brothers – Karamjit Singh and Paramjit Singh – and four others, under sections 376 (rape), 354 (assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to offend her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 506 (intimidation) Criminal) and 120-B (Conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code on July 10, 2021.
Semarjit and his older brother won Winder Pines from Atam Nagar and South Ludhiana seats in 2012 and 2017, respectively. But in the elections to the Punjab Assembly in 2022, they both faced defeat.
Semarjit has always maintained that the rape case against him and his brothers was ‘politically motivated’ as it was brought before the 2022 Punjab elections.
Among the four Payne brothers, Semarjit and Balwinder were involved in politics, while Karamjit and Parminder were businessmen.