SAD WARNS AGAINST INSULTING PEOPLE'S HOUSE,
ENDANGERING THE LEGISLATURE-JUDICIARY DELECATE BALANCE IN DEMOCRACY
CHANDIGARH, Sept.11, 2008
In a hard-hitting statement, the Shiromani Akali Dal today asked
the ghost writers for disgraced former Chief Minister Amarinder
Singh to at least keep the dignity of the House of the People –
the Punjab Assembly -- in mind while dipping their quills into poison
of hate and meanness to drag the Akali Dal-BJP alliance into a matter
which was in sole jurisdiction of the legislature and was taken
up after a complaint from a senior Congress leader.
Taking strong exception to a statement issued by Congress MLA Jeet
Mohinder Singh today, Akali Dal spokesperson Shri Mahesh Inder Singh
Grewal, General Secretary, of Shiromani Akali Dal, said only utter
disregard for the legislature could have prompted a statement that
virtually accused the House, the Speaker, an all party Special Committee
of the House and the standing of the Assembly as being held hostage
to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Akali Dal president Sukhbir
"May we remind the tail carriers of a disgraced MLA of the
13th Punjab Vidhan Sabha that the august House took up the matter
only after Mr. Bir Devinder Singh, hailed as the best Parliamentarian
unanimously during the tenure of Amarinder Singh, and pursued it
logically," the spokesperson of the party said.
He said if the best Parliamentarian now does not suit the Congress'
ends, it showed the party's regard for good legislative practices.
He decried the cheap attempts of a small bunch of Amarinder followers
to drag the legislature into partisan politics and said casting
aspersions on the functioning of the House was virtually a contempt
of the august institution.
"Mind you that the people are watching. It is their House,
and like all respected MLAs, Shri Harish Dhanda has certain privileges
as a member of this House," the spokesperson said.
He said, "To denigrate an MLA because of an assignment that
he takes up at the instance of the Speaker and the will of the House,
and which he completes with the cooperation of the Leader of the
Opposition, Congress MLA members of the probe committee and testimonies
of officials and others in the face of persistent pressures from
those involved in the land scam, is a direct insult to the people.
Those who insult talent of elected representatives are doomed to
find themselves sharing the fate of the arrogant."
As for the small time Congress leaders' dare about Parliamentary
elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson said the Congress
party will be best advised to utilize the time till the polls to
lick its wounds, ensure that a man made campaign committee chief
at least knows how to keep his by simply remaining honest and honour
those within the party who have given clarion calls to bring out
the truth. "The decision about who will emerge the winner should
ideally be made by the people of Punjab instead of those writing
songs of praise of a disgraced CM."
He said calling the functioning of the House as circumventing the
judicial process is a dangerous ploy of bringing two important pillars
of the democracy, the legislature and the judiciary, into direct
"We are sure the fourth pillar, the media in this country,
is taking due notice. Amarinder and his ilk is free to criticize
the executive, but to threaten journalists and newspapers with defamation
cases, to insult the House by saying it is at the beck and call
of a political party, or to bring the Assembly and judiciary into
conflict is something that will not unpunished by the people. As
for the action that such institutions may take to protect the interests
and faith of the people, the Akali Dal and BJP retain the supreme
faith in their capacity to do so," he said
Amarinder disrespecting all
four pillars of democracy
Vendetta slogan cannot be allowed to become an excuse for corruption:
Executive not involved in the case at any stage. Is it Amarinder's
case that the Punjab Vidhan Sabha is carrying out a vendetta against
Chandigarh September 11, 2008
- The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today expressed
surprise over Captain Amarinder Singh's continued arrogance, disregard
and even disrespect towards the collective wisdom of the Punjab
Vidhan Sabha. "The House is repository of the collective wisdom
and trust of the people of Punjab. Under the Constitution of India,
it has "certain duties, responsibilities and privileges which
every member of the House, including Amarinder Singh, are well aware
of. But I think only and only Amarinder Singh seems to be believed
that he is above the House and enjoys the royal privilege of criticizing
the House in the open even while being a member of it. How can you
cast insults on the integrity of the House and still want to remain
a member of it? "
Talking to media persons, the Chief Minister said that Amarinder
in fact seemed to treat himself above not just the legislature but
all four pillars of democracy , that is the media, the judiciary,
the legislature and the executive. "Of the four pillars of
democracy, Amarinder Singh has already castigated the legislature,
he has no faith in the executive (unless he is the executive), he
had in the past threatened to file cases against the journalists
and newspapers, including that of Hindustan Times, reporting his
corruption to courts, as in the Ludhiana City centre scam.. In the
aftermath of the House decision, is Amarinder now expressing a lack
of faith in the judiciary also?" Mr. Badal wondered.
A press release issued after the press conference also gave graphic
details of the various stages of record tampering and land scam.
Mr. Badal appreciated that everyone, including the media and the
Opposition, by and large , have maintained the dignity of the House
and have refrained from casting aspersions on its functioning honestly
. "The Congress leaders like Mrs. Margeret Alva, Mrs R K Bhattal,
Mr. Bir Devinder Singh and Mr. Jagmeet Singh Brar have all refrained
from commenting on the proceedings
of the House and the report of the Committee of the House. Amarinder
is alone even in the Congress to continue to speak irresponsibly
against the constitutionally august bodies and institutions.,"
said Mr. Badal
Mr. Badal said that the executive was not involved in the present
case at any stage. "I only want to underline that the matter
was taken up by the House itself on a complaint filed by the Congress
chief spokesperson, Mr. Bir Devinder Singh, and the decision to
set up the committee was also taken by the House during the Amarinder
regime when Dr. Kewal Krishnan was the speaker. The executive has
nothing to do with it. All the witnesses who appeared against are
also either Congressmen or bureaucrats who gave the same opinions
during the Amarinder regime. No SAD or BJP member or person has
any role in this nor have any of them appeared as complainant or
witness against Amarinder"
Mr Badal expressed appreciation for the media which has shown
great regard for the House while reporting throughout.
Wondering why Amarinder or the Congress did not avail themselves
of the opportunity to place their case before the people of the
state on the floor of the House, Mr. Badal said that he was amazed
at the utter silence of the entire Congress party in general and
Captain Amarinder Singh in particular over the issues involved in
the report of the special Committee set up by the House with the
unqualified consent of the Congress. "They should have stated
in the House what they are saying outside it now. At no stage did
Amarinder or any member of the Congress party question the constitutionality
of the committee during its sittings. Does the Committee become
unconstitutional only after its judgment went against Amarinder?"
The decision was reached after deliberations of a joint committee
of the House. It was announced by the House. From here onwards,
it will go to the judiciary. The media has been tracking the case
from the very beginning. The executive is so far nowhere in the
picture," the Chief Minister said.
He expressed surprise at Amarinder Singh's and the Congress's decision
to not avail of any opportunity to put up any defence on the floor
of the House. While Amarinder chose to remain away from the House
for most of the time, the Congress seemed very reluctant to defend
him, an understandable situation in view of the documentary evidence
and testimonies before the House committee, Mr Badal said.
Mr Badal said he has been amused by Amarinder Singh's defence that
it was a matter for the previous House and should have died with
it. "Shorn of all the frills, Amarinder Singh is saying when
the scam happened during his tenure, why is someone else probing
it? What kind of defence is it? And he expects not only the common
people, but even the House of the People to lap it up," Mr
The Chief Minister also wondered how Captain Amarinder Singh continued
to treat the collective wisdom of the House and display utter disregard
and arrogance towards it.
"The House enjoys the privilege granted under the Constitution,
the MLAs enjoy the privilege being members of the august House.
But I think only and only Amarinder Singh seems to enjoying the
privilege of criticizing the House," the CM said.
On 5.12.2003, a fresh notification was issued for acquisition of
188 acres of land and approved by the Govt. when Ch Jagjit Singh
was the Local Govt. Minister.
Veer Colonizers and Promoters filed objection with Improvement Trust,
Amritsar and asked for exempting a piece of 32.10 acres.
These objections were rejected vide Resolution No. 114 of Improvement
Trust, Amritsar and Govt. granted approval.
Role of Housing & Urban Dev Deptt
On 12-3-2004 Veer Colonizers was granted change of Land Use by
the Housing & Urban Development Department.
Application moved by Veer Colonisers to grant license.
The then Housing & Urban Development Minister forwarded the
case to the then Chief Minister who gave his consent thereto on
17.11.2004 and Instructions were issued to exempt such lands.
Though the Department pleaded for taking a policy decision, whereas,
in fact, there was only single case of Veer Colonizer who had filed
application for licence before the issue of Notification.
Role of Local Govt. Dept.
Local Government Department opposed this development and sought
change of policy approved by the C.M. on 17-11-2004.
The then chief Secretary approved the action of the Local Govt.
department in his note of 25-4-2005. He stated that objectives of
Improvement Trusts are Socio-ecnomic and also to cater to economical
weaker sections of the society whereas private colonizers have a
single, profit making, motive. He also suggested that where licenses
have been granted, such lands should not be acquired but where mere
applications have been filed; the same should be kept in abeyance
till the Improvement Trust finalizes the acquisition proceedings.
In case, the Improvement Trust, ultimately, does not acquire the
proposed lands, only then such pending application could be processed
10. This note was put up to the then Chief Minster who gave his
consent to the decision on 30-4-2005 and this became a final policy
rendering the Housing Department helpless to issue the License.
No Exemption to be granted became the policy.
11. Veer colonizers moved an application on 4.1.2005 to then Local
Government Minister Ch Jagjit Singh seeking exemption on the same
grounds who marked it to the then Principal Secretary, Local government
department for seeking comments of the Improvement Trust.
12.The Department prepared its note with reasoning and strongly
recommended against exemption.
13. In the meanwhile Improvement trust, Amritsar also suggested
against the applied exemption.
14. In the Meanwhile Mrs Ratna was removed from the Chairmanship
of the Improvement trust and Sh Juggal Kishore Sharma was appointed
in her place vide order dated 9-9-2004.
15. Director, Local Govt. recommended that no further action be
taken on the application and the Principal Secretary Local Govt.
16. But the then Local Govt Minister added his own note on 21-9-2005
recommending grant of exemption. He referred his not to then C.M.
who assigned his signature on 21-9-2005 itself granting exemption.
17. On the note of the then Local govt. Minister, the Principal
Secretary Local govt. on 3-9-2005 put up a detailed note stating
all facts and importance of the Scheme, making it clear that the
request of Veer Colonizers can not be considered at that stage.
18. Local Govt. Minister, however, did not send the note up to
the CM, but added his note to the effect that Improvement Trust,
Amritsar should be asked if they want to leave the land in question
and if so they should pass a resolution to this effect so that further
action could be taken by the Govt. He also desired that CM's order
should also be attached along with the file.
19. Improvement Trust, Amritsar vide Agenda of its meeting circulated
on 3.10.2005 did not include this issue in it. However, later on,
it was changed to add this item of Veer Colonizers. Later on, in
the proceedings it was shown to have been resolved to exempt the
said piece of land subject to connectivity of roads and charging
of external development charges.
20. When this resolution came to Govt,. the Department again opposed
it with well reasoned note saying that it was against the laws and
relevant instructions of the govt. and would complicate the remaining
21. But the Local govt. minister vide his own note dated 3.11.2005
ordered that matter be discussed with Principal Secretary Local
Govt,. Director, Local Govt., Legal Assistant and Chairman Improvement
Trust. He also added that since the Resolution has been passed by
the Improvement Trust, the land be exempted from the acquisition
and notification be issued. He also mentioned in it that the same
has been allowed by the CM as well.
22. Housing and Urban Development Department was informed.
23. In the mean time Improvement Trust, Amritsar also gave NOC.
24. Before the license could be issued the issue was raised by
S. Bir Devinder Singh MLA in the House and the.
25. Housing Department held up the issue.
26. Meanwhile, the CM desired to see the policy. A note was prepared
on 10.10.05 by the Secretary, Housing which was seen by the CM on
24.10.05. He ordered that vide his previous order dated 30.4.05,
his order dated 17.11.04 was withdrawn and the Department had also
withdrawn earlier instructions but had not issued fresh instructions
and new policy. He also ordered for notification of new policy,
which was carried out.
27. Housing & Urban Development Minister was trying his best
for issuing license.
28. Secretary Housing sought clarification regarding formation
of any House committee form the Vidhan Sabha on 16.5.06 asking about
the finding of the Committee, of given and if not how long it would
take. It was replied on 17.5.06 that no such Committee had been
formed and as such there was no Report.
29. On this, the then Housing & Urban Development Minister
made his own note on 15.06.06 stating that reply of Vidhan Sabha
was clear and there is no need of seeking any clarification from
anywhere and the matter be processed further. Secretary, Housing
put his note saying that matter has been discussed with the Minister
and file be sent to CM for the observation
30. CM once again put his signature of acceptance on 3.7.06 and
the license was issued thereafter that too totally ignoring the
connectivity of reads virtually paralyzing the remaining Scheme
and causing ill effects of connectivity to the existing 340 acres
BRIEF FACTS OF IMPROVEMENT TRUST SCAM
1. Assembly Question was raised by Sh.Bir Divinder Singh then MLA
on 22-2-06 in 12th Vidhan Sabha regarding exemption of 32 acres
of land of the Improvement Trust Amritsar.
2. The Chief Minister and Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha announced
to set up a Special Committee on the Floor of the House on 1-3-2006.
3. Bulletin of Punjab Vidhan Sabha of 1-3-08 mentioned the formation
of the committee & also reported in the newspapers.
4. The record of the Vidhan Sabha was tempered with and the Committee
was not set up.
5. Vidhan Sabha bulletin issued on 21-4-04 and the item was deleted.
6. On a privilege motion of Sh. Des Raj Dhugga, Sh Sukhpal Singh
(Nanoo) and Sh. Jagdeep Singh Nakaion 22-3-07, the House unanimously
resolved to refer the matter of tampering of Vidhan Sabha records
to the Privilege Committee of the present Vidhan Sabha.
7. The Privilege Committee consisted of 12 members including 5
of Congress namely.
(a) Sh.Harminder Singh Jassi
(b) Sh.Jasbir Singh Khangura
(c) Sh.Sher Singh Gagowal
(d) Sh.Surjit Singh Dhiman
(e) Sh.Tej Parkash Singh
8. The Privilege Committee report was tabled in the House on 18-12-07
with the finding of tempering being done in the Vidhan Sabha records.
9. The House unanimously resolved to form a Special Committee to
enquire into matter.
10. Special Committee headed by Sh. Harish Rai Dhanda.Total 9 Members
with 3 members of Congress namely.
(1) Sh. Harminder Singh Jassi
(2) Sh.Randeep Singh Nabha
(3) Sh.Sher Singh Gagowal
11. Special Committee gave its report indicting Capt. Amarinder
Singh,Ch. Jagjit Singh & Late Sh. Raghunath Sahai Puri.
BEER OF BAHADURGARH DECLARED PROTECTED MONUMENT
Chandigarh, September 11, 2008
The Punjab Government today issued a Notification declaring Beer
of Bahadurgarh in district Patiala as a Protected Monument under
Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites
and Remains Act, 1964,
According to an official spokesman a preliminary notification
in this regard has been issued by Department of Cultural Affairs.
The spokesman said that under the rules the government intends to
declare prohibited areas, 100m from the protected limits and further
beyond it, up to 200m near or adjoining to the protected monument
for the purpose of mining operation or construction or both.
He said that Punjab Government has given one month notice of its
intention for declaring the area prohibited and regulated and sought
objections from the public. He said that final notification would
be issued after expiry of 30 days notice period.
IRRIGATION PROGRAMME FOR KHARIF SEASON ANNOUNCED
CHANDIGARH, September 11, 2008
The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational
irrigation Programme for the Kharif Season through Canal water from
10 September to 17 September, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal
System would run on priority basis from Bhatinda Branch, Bist Doab
Canal, Sidhwan Branch, Abohar Branch and Patiala feeder respectively.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesman of the Irrigation department
said that direct distributaries of Bhakra Main Line, in Group 'A'
being in the first preference would run to their indent. Balance
water supplies would be utilised in Ghaggar link and its off taking
channels i.e. Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' respectively.
The spokesman further said that the Punjab channels off taking
from Harika and Ferozepur Head Works & Branches i.e. all the
direct distributaries of Sirhind Feeder in-group "A" being
in the first preference would run to their indent. Balance water
supplies would be utilised in Abohar Branch off taking from Sirhind
Feeder and its distributaries/minors in-group "B".
The spokesman also said that the channels off taking from upper
Bari Doab Canal i.e. Main Branch Lower with its distributaries being
in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus water
available would be utilised in, Lahore Branch, Sabraon Branch, Kasur
Branch Lower and with its distributaries.
PSEB GETS CENTRAL FUNDS FOR STRENGTHENING ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION
Mohali September 10, 2008
Punjab has become the first state to get monitory assistance from
Department of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India,
New Delhi for strengthening environment education in all the schools
of Punjab. In this connection a state level seminar which was attended
by educationists from all over the state was organized in the auditorium
Prof. Ranjit Singh Bajwa, Vice-Chairman PSEB, during his inaugural
address at two days workshop on "strengthening of environment
education in Punjab" organized at Mohali, stated that many
states had submitted their proposals to Union Govt., MoEF for getting
this project, but only Punjab has been selected.
Mr Bajwa further stated that the grant for the project has been
provided to the Board for educating the teachers on environment
education through publication of hand books. He lauded the efforts
made by Mrs. Shruti Shukla, Senior Scientific Officer of the Board,
who is also the nodal officer for the project, for her contribution
in this regard.
He added that environment education is a new subject which has
been recently introduced in all the classes in school education
in the state under the directions of honourable Supreme Court of
India. Being a relatively new subject, teachers were finding it
difficult to teach. Under this project, Mrs. Shruti Shukla would
co-ordinate and got a handbook published for teachers which would
certainly simplify the teaching of environmental education subject
and introduce new teaching skills and methodology.
Mr Bajwa, further expressed that by propagation of environment
education, the state would not only achieve sustainable development
but also improve the general environment in the state as well as
lives of common people. The workshop was attended by educationists
from all over state.
"Complainant and witnesses were all
"SAD dubs Amarinder reaction "mumblings of a man facing
Chandigarh September 10 - The Shiromani Akali Dal today described
the reaction of the former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder
Singh as "midsummer mumblings of a man faced with certain political
oblivion. By speaking so arrogantly about the decision of the House
and the judgment of the Committee, Captain Amarinder has further
compounded his problems and his reactions to the media after the
House decision amounts to fresh breach of privilege, "said
SAD leader Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia. He further said that the House
judgment was also proof of the fact that the former Chief Minister's
so anti-corruption drive was nothing more than an attempt to divert
people's attention from the massive corruption that he had himself
been indulging in as Chief Minister.
"The wheel has come full circle for the man who resorted to
cheap theatricals as Chief Minister on the issue of corruption.
From false bravado and sloganeering as Chief Minister then to petty
breast beating as a befallen leader now, it is truly quite a fall
for Amarinder," said Mr. Majithia.
It may be recalled that the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today expelled
Amarinder Singh from the membership of the House and ordered the
registration of a case against him and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh for
the Trust land scam. The House also directed the Director, Punjab
Vigilance Bureau to investigate the case, register an FIR and submit
the action taken report within two months to the House through the
Mr. Majithia expressed surprise over Captain Singh's remarks that
his expulsion from the House was "unconstitutional and that
it smacked of political vendetta'. This, said Mr. Majithia, amounted
to questioning the collective wisdom of the elected representatives
of the people.
The Akali leader wondered how Captain Singh could question the
constitutionality of the Committee when his own party had given
its consent in writing for the setting up of the House Committee
to inquire into the corrupt deal in Amritsar Improvement Trust scam.
"Did the Committee become unconstitutional only after Amarinder
was found guilty? As for the dissent by Congress members, Mr. Majithia
said that dissent was common even among the judgments of judicial
benches but that did not in any way make the judgment less effective
The setting up of the Committee was a unanimous decision of the
House and the Congress party had given its consent in writing. Not
only that, the party even nominated its members on it, and these
members took part in all the 16 meetings of the Committee. None
of these members ever questioned the validity or constitutionality
fo the Committee. If the Committee was not constitutionally correct,
then why did Amarinder himself appear before it."
Regarding the charge of political vendetta, Mr. Majithia asked
"Political vendetta by whom? The principal complainant against
Amarinder corruption was none other than the Chief Spokesperson
of Amarinder own Congress party, Mr. Bi Devinder Singh. The Chairperson
of the Amritsar Improvement Trust, Mrs. Ratna who opposed the Amarinder
decision on the 360 crore land scam was also a Congress woman and
an Amarinder appointee. She was dismissed when she refused to be
a party to the corrupt deal.," said Mr. Majithia.
The Akali leader further said that all the witnesses against Amarinder
in this corruption case were also Congressmen. All the six trustees
of the Amritsar Improvement Trust who deposed against
Amarinder were not only Congressmen but were in fact Amarinder
personal appointees. All the 25 witnesses who appeared against Amarinder
in the case were also either from the Congress party or senior member
s of the administration headed by him. All officers from the Director
Local Bodies up to the Chief Secretary had opposed the deal, describing
it as against the interests of the state, but Amarinder and Chaudhary
Jagjit Singh were bent upon completing the corrupt deal." said