Friday, August 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Badal’s ex-Media Adviser suspended
Harcharan Bains violated PAU code, says VC
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Mr Harcharan Singh Bains, Assistant Professor of English at PAU, who was Media Adviser to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister of Punjab, was placed under suspension today at the instance of the Punjab Government to give effect to a veiled threat given to him at Longowal village on August 20 to severe his association with his political masters within 24 hours or face the consequences.

It was Mr BIS Chahal, the present Media Adviser to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who had warned Mr Bains against his continued association with Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

The brief exchange between Mr Bains and Mr Chahal had taken place outside the main pandal of the Shiromani Akali Dal immediately after its “shaheedi conference” had ended. It happened in the presence of newsmen and certain other officials covering the shaheedi conference.

The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S. Aulakh, however, held that Mr Harcharan Bains had been suspended for taking part in political activities in violation of the Code of Conduct for university employees.

Mr Bains maintained that he had taken outstation leave to “attend the martyrdom day function of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal at Longowal village in Sangrur district” and it was duly sanctioned by the competent authority. He also denied his accompanying Mr Parkash Singh Badal to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 10 for filing a writ petition.

Though Mr Harcharan Bains was served a show cause notice on the evening of August 20 to explain within two days why he accompanied the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 10 at the time of his filing of a writ petition against the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and also for sharing the stage with Akali Dal leaders at Longowal village on August 20 on the occasion of the martyrdom day of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal.

The suspension order said: “Mr Harcharn Singh Bains, Assistant Professor, English, has been found indulging in political activities after resuming the duties at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, on March 7, 2002. He accompanied Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Leader of the Opposition, to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 10 in connection with the filing of a writ petition.

“On August 20, he shared the stage with political leaders in Longowal village in Sangrur district in connection with the martyrdom day of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal.

“The indulgence of Mr Bains in such political activity is contrary to PAU Code of Conduct Rules. Therefore he is placed under suspension with immediate effect. Formal chargesheet will follow. During his suspension, his headquarter will be Ludhiana.”

Dr Aulakh told The Tribune that “Code of Conduct for PAU employees strictly bars them from taking part in any political activity.” Mr Harcharan Singh Bains was asked earlier also to stop taking part in political activities.

“He was sanctioned leave to attend the martyrdom conference at Longowal village on August 20,” admitted Dr Aulakh but maintained that two classes, one undergraduate and one postgraduate, missed their lectures because of his absence on August 20.

“The prime function or duty of a teacher is to take classes rather then attend political rallies,” he added.

The authorities concerned appeared to be in a hurricane hurry in suspending Mr Harcharan Singh Bains as even the basic facts were not checked and verified. No writ petition was filed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 10 against the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

In fact it was on August 12 that Mr Parkash Singh Badal had filed two separate cases against the Chief Minister in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandigarh.


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