The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday extended its order granting interim protection from arrest to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia till January 24, the Hindustan Times reported.

Majithia was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act on December 20. He had moved the High Court for anticipatory bail after a Mohali court dismissed his plea on December 24.

The High Court granted him interim protection from arrest on January 10 and directed him to join the investigation on January 12. The court on Tuesday extended the order till January 24, the Hindustan Times quoted Majithia’s counsel Arshdeep Singh Cheema as saying.

In his plea, Majithia, a Shiromani Akali Dal leader, contended that targeting him was a major election plank of the Congress-led government in the state. Assembly polls in Punjab will be held on February 20 and the results will be announced on March 10.

Majithia, who is the brother-in-law of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, is a prominent face of the party. He is the brother of former Punjab Cabinet minister and party leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

The FIR against Majithia had been registered based on a Special Task Force report on drug cases file at the Punjab State Crime Police Station in Mohali. It was submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018.