Monday, July 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Amarinder sacks minister
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today sacked Minister of State for Forests Harbans Lal following his indictment in a multi-crore tree felling scam to silence his critics that his government’s crusade against corruption was targeted not only against the Opposition but also against those who were a part and parcel of the government.

A letter recommending the sack of Dr Harbans Lal from the State Council of Ministers was sent to the Punjab Governor, Justice Om Parkash Verma, before Capt Amarinder Singh left for Shimla to attend the three-day Congress summit there.

The government has also decided to refer the departmental enquiry report to the Vigilance Department to look into the role of each individual involved in the scam.

The government has also decided to place Mr Dharmvir, an IAS officer and at present Commissioner, Ferozepore Division, under suspension. He was earlier Special Secretary (Forests).

Only yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had demanded dismissal of Dr Harbans Lal from the Council of Ministers after his “indictment in the multi-crore scam”.

Dr Harbans Lal thus becomes the first Minister in the 16-month-old Ministry to face action on corruption charges.


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