P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Punjab Roadways buses stay off roads
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 17
The employees of Punjab Roadways today observed a total strike in the district to press the state government for the acceptance of their demands. The main bus stand of the town wore a deserted look. The employees of the canteens and shopkeepers running their businesses in the bus stand complex were seen playing cricket as a pastime.

Since morning no bus was allowed to enter or move out from the bus stand due to the strike. The private operators were seen moving with packed buses on all the routes from outside the main bus stand, leading to long traffic jams, throwing the traffic out of gear.

Hundreds of commuters who were to catch long-route buses to Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Ganganagar, Jammu and other parts of the neighbouring states were seen standing for hours due to irregular bus service of the private operators.

Addressing a gathering of the employees union, Gurmail Singh, state general secretary of the Punjab Government Transport Workers Union, alleged that for the last 20 years, there was no promotion for the employees working in the workshop of Punjab Roadways.

While demanding that the state government should complete the fleet of 2,407 buses in Punjab because at present very few number of buses were moving on the roads, he alleged that hundreds of government buses routes were defunct or dead benefiting major private players-either firms owned by Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal’s family or their close friends. He alleged that the ‘gundas’ of private buses forced passengers not to sit in government buses, disturbing the whole timetable and schedule of the plying of buses.

There were also reports of total strike of buses in the Ferozepur and Faridkot districts by the employees of the roadways, disturbing the travelling schedules of the commuters. 


Board goes slow on police stations to check power theft
Mohit Khanna/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Though the state is undergoing major power crises and mooting innovative ideas to conserve energy, it seems that all these policies exist on papers only.

The PSEB has not set up any police station to check power thefts though the Punjab government notified six months ago the setting up of special police stations in five cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Bathinda and Ludhiana.

The Power Department wants that these police stations should function under the control of the PSEB that can take police personnel on deputation from the state government.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had directed the PSEB chairman to prepare a proposal for setting up these special police stations on the pattern of Gujarat. Former DGP of PSEB (vigilance) Lalit Bhatia said the proposal was mooted during the Amarinder regime and the Finance Department had then approved it.

Sources said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had agreed to notify one court of the additional district and sessions judge as special court for the trial of power theft cases in the fast-track mode in these five cities.

All top officials of the department were reluctant to comment on this issue.


Industrialists demand dedicated land bank
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Better infrastructure, a dedicated land bank for industries and a genuine system of single-window clearance were the three major demands that top industrialist of the country put forth before the Punjab government today.

In what was to be the final pre-run to the finalisation of the Punjab industrial policy-2009, a major meeting of industrialists and the state administration was held in New Delhi today. The meeting was chaired by principal secretary to the prime minister T.K.A. Nair.

“The Punjab government officers and top 100 industrialists of the country met today for preparing the final outline of the state’s new industrial policy,” said S.S. Channy, principal secretary (industries), Punjab.

“Most of the captains of the industries wanted better infrastructure facilities in the state. They admitted that our road network was good but they added that much more needed to be done. They asked for day landing airports and an improvement in the power situation,” added Channy.

He said the industry also pointed out that there was a need for a land bank in Punjab. “The industrialists felt that land in Punjab was most expensive in the country. They also asked for better skilled human resources from the state and asked the state to also encourage agro-based industries. They said Punjab should encourage medical tourism.”

The industrialists also talked about the possibility of trading with Gulf countries and also strengthening the western and eastern rail freight corridor.

The presentation from Punjab’s side was made by United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) consultant Isher Judge Ahluwalia whose team had authored the “Punjab Industrial Review”, which was submitted to the state government in August.

The UNIDO review report would form the basis of the new industrial policy. The review report had cited high land prices as one of the biggest obstructions in the state’s industrial growth. The report had also pointed out that the state would have to promote synergy between agriculture and industry for growth in textiles and agro-processing and also rejuvenate the small-scale sector.

The report had also asked the government to have a re-look at the tax-subsidy regime, which is biased against industry as it cross-subsidises the burden of free power to agriculture.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had constituted a core group under the chairmanship of chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh to study the report and give its input for the new industrial policy. Channy added the final brainstorming session on the policy would be held on December 23 in Chandigarh after which the policy would get its final shape by the end of this year would be out in January, 2009.


Jallianwala Bagh, Kukas part of freedom movement
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 17
It’s official now. Finally, after 137 years, the government of India has recognised Kuka Namdhari Movement of 1871 and Jallianwala Bagh massacre, 1919, as part of the national freedom movement.

I.B. Karn, joint secretary to Government of India, in a missive sent to the Chief Minister through special a messenger, has said that both the movements have been formally included in the said list, recognised for purpose of grant of pension under the Swatantrta Sainik Sanman Pension Scheme 1980. The missive of the Central Government has been marked as “most immediate”.

Earlier, Malwinder Singh Waraich and many NGOs had sought the intervention of all concerned to consider the martyrs of both the movements as part of the national freedom movement.

The state and Central governments had been dithering on providing the freedom-fighter status to the Namdharis and martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh and had failed to give any compensation to their kin even after 61 years of Independence.

As per official information, a list of 487 martyrs was prepared and many of them remained unknown or unidentified. Hence, their names had not been included as freedom fighters so far. The Association of the Jallianwala Shaeed Parivars had been running from pillar to post to secure the status of freedom fighters for their forefathers, but in vain.

The issue was also taken up with union tourism minister Ambika Soni during her recent visit to the city after which the government had woken up to install the names on the display wall, a task which has already been completed.


Lack of storage space for foodgrains
State’s problem of plenty figures in RS
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
The problem of plenty that Punjab is facing, as far as foodgrains are concerned, figured in the Upper House of Parliament today.

Taking up the issue of the Centre’s rejection of the state government’s request to send surplus wheat stock to Pakistan and Afghanistan and lack of adequate storage space in Punjab, Naresh Gujral of Akali Dal in a Zero Hour mention demanded adequate storage facilities for foodgrains in the state so that the buffer stock could be kept safely.

Gujral also urged the agriculture minister to allow export of wheat to Pakistan and Afghanistan, to move foodgrains out of Punjab expeditiously and store them elsewhere and issue instructions to the Food Corporation of India to hire private godowns in Punjab so that buffer stocks could be kept safely.

He said last year the country was planning to import wheat in order to augment the buffer stock but with two bumper crops, Punjab came to the country’s rescue and the country now had enough foodgrain in its kitty.

At present, Punjab has wheat stock of over 95 lakh metric tonnes (MT) besides five lakh MT old rice stock, bulk of which is lying in the open, Gujral said, adding that unless immediate action was taken, lakhs of tonnes would be rendered unfit for human consumption.

“The Centre has turned down the Punjab government’s request to allow it to export surplus stock to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The situation will become more critical once the mills return rice after shelling. Punjab had recently procured over 13.1 MT of paddy,” he said.

The FCI has moved just about four lakh tonnes of grain out of Punjab and the Railways has been slow to provide extra wagons required to move stocks despite repeated reminders from the state government, he also added.

All this despite private godowns with huge storage capacity lying vacant in the state as local FCI has no clear-cut instructions to hire them. These godowns have the capacity to store almost 30 to 35 per cent of the stocks lying in the open.

Later, Gujral told The Tribune that he had taken up the matter with deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia. “He asked the food secretary to expedite the hiring of private sector godowns so that these stocks can be moved to a safer place,” Gujral said.



Definition of Sehajdhari ‘distorted’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 17
The Sikh Mission International and Dal Khalsa today took strong exception to the contents of the affidavit, filed by the SGPC in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on the issue of Sehajdhari Sikhs.

In a strong-worded joint statement, veteran SGPC member Manjit Singh Calcutta and Kanwarpal Singh took the SGPC to task for providing “distorted definition” of the Sehajdharis. They alleged that such an attempt of the Shiromani Committee would be providing room for their (Sehajdharis’) penetration into the Sikh religious institutions.

They threatened to launch a mass campaign against the committee if they failed to withdraw the affidavit submitted to the High Court. If need be, a Sikh conclave would be called to discuss the issue as there was widespread revolt against the SGPC for its “utmost blunder”. 


CPM keen on regional ally in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The CPM wants to stitch together an alliance with regional parties across the country and its secretary Prakash Karat is here to tackle the issue and decide how many seats the party should fight in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources, the party has pockets of influence in few constituencies like Sangrur and Patiala and would have to seek a regional partner in case it wants to contest more seats. With the main regional party - the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) - in the NDA camp, it has only fringe players to choose from. Karat said he would discuss the issue with party leaders, including acting president Charan Singh Virdi.

Karat said the party already had an alliance with the Telegu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka. He said the party was trying to bring more non-Congress, non-BJP parties on this platform to provide a creditable third alternative.

While replying to a possibility of a tie-up with the BJP, the CPM secretary said his party had the support of the BSP both inside Parliament as well as outside it. He said, however, the BSP had a policy of not forming a pre-election alliance with any political party. “We hope an alliance with the BSP will come about but I cannot say whether it will happen before the Lok Sabha elections or not,” he added.

Karat also disclosed that his party wanted to bring about amendments in the proposed National Investigation Agency. He said the state governments should also be associated with it. He said besides this, the CPM was not in favour of extending the period of preventive detention from the present 90 days to 180 days as proposed. The communist leader said the proposed clause whereby any police officer could apprehend anybody who he believed possessed important information was also not needed. “We have experience of such provisions being misused,” he added.


Cancel auction of school land: Manch
Varinder Walia /Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 17
The decision of the local municipal corporation to auction the open playground and land area of the Govt Elementary School (Boys), Mahna Singh Road, here after demolishing the main building for the construction of a hotel/commercial enterprise today received flak from educationists and NGOs.

The Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) has shot off letters to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the union minister for sports, Dr M.S. Gill, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, local MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab sports minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, information and public relation minister (Punjab) Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia and the mayor of Amritsar Shwet Malik , demanding immediate cancellation of the auction. The M.C.A. plans to retain only a nominal patch and sell off the entire area, proposed to come under the hammer on December 22, 2008.

Earlier, the historical Saragarhi school , a few yards away from Golden Temple, was demolished to construct multi-storey parking. Prof Mohan Singh and Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, both patrons of the manch, rued the lust for cash that is driving the government to take away their only playground from the students and then expect them, when they grow up, to fetch medals in Olympics. Almost all the children of this school come from the BPL/SC families.

Even the next door Government Girls Senior Secondary School or the Government Senior Secondary School (Girls), Kot Baba Deep Singh, and Government Senior Secondary School (Boys), Kot Baba Deep Singh, are deprived of any play patches and this 2,852 sq metres open space of the school in the heart of the city should be developed and used as a common spot for sports/games or left as a green area rather than be exploited commercially.

The manch leaders said, this site is only 400 metres away from Golden Temple and less than 300 metres away from the national monument Jallianwala Bagh and the construction of a hotel would undermine their sanctity.


Rs 4,400-cr plan to improve infrastructure
Tribune News Service

Mansa, December 17
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said today that the SAD-BJP coalition government had chalked out a plan to develop infrastructure in rural as well as urban areas at a cost of Rs 4,400 crore.

Sukhbir was addressing a public meeting at Budladha in Mansa district after laying the foundation stones for various developmental projects to provide potable drinking water, construction of link roads and revamp of the canal network.

He said 11,000 villages in the state would be provided basic amenities at a cost of Rs 400 crore whereas the urban areas would be provided sewerage and potable water facility at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore.

He said the development was the main plank of the SAD for the coming Lok Sabha elections. He said the government had also chalked out a plan worth Rs 3,200 crore to rejuvenate the canal network. He said 365 tubewell would be set up at tail-ends of these canals.

The SAD chief also laid the foundation stone for development works of Rs 25 lakh at Guru Nanak College (Budladha). 


Youth sent to Spain goes missing
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
A 22-year-old identified as Jatinder Singh of Jaid village in Kapurthala, who was sent to Spain by a travel agent charging Rs 9.5 lakh, is reportedly missing for the past six months.

Jatinder had called up his father Gurmeet Singh from Ukraine five months ago. After that his family never received his call. The travel agent, Rajinder Singh, alias Laddi, of Kot Mitt Singh village in Amritsar is neither attending calls nor available at his house.

Gurmeet Singh has made rounds of several police stations, but in vain. He was in the city on Saturday urging upon the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) to take up his case with the Indian Embassy at Ukraine.

Narrating the ordeal to LBP leader Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, Gurmeet Singh said the agent had promised to send his son to Spain and for this had taken an advance of Rs 4.5 lakh from him. After taking this amount, the agent took Jatinder to Moscow. He came back to India and said he had to send Jatinder to Spain from Moscow and took another Rs 5 lakh.

“I have not only lost Rs 9.5 lakh, but also my son,” he rued. Mullanpuri assured him of help and said they would take up the matter with embassies in Ukraine and the neighbourhood countries to find out the youth’s whereabouts. 


Quick-reaction teams for dist headquarters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 17
All police district headquarters have been provided with quick reaction teams of the police to meet emergency situations. These teams are fully trained and well-equipped to meet any situation.

Disclosing this here yesterday, DIG (Ludhiana range) Ishwar Singh said security

had been stepped up at sensitive points after the terrorist attack on Mumbai.

He said all hotels and restaurants had been asked to install CCTV cameras and metal detectors. The owners of marriage palaces had also been directed to install such equipment at banquets.

He further said landlords had been asked to give information about their tenants and servants to the police. This was important to check incidents of theft, he added.

The DIG said CCTV cameras would be installed in the city at sensitive places and proposal in this regard had been sent to the state government. Two CCTV cameras had already been installed at separate places, he added.


Pensioners’ Day observed
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 17
Pensioners today demanded from the government Rs 1,000 per month as medical allowance. They also urged the government to issue directions to the Fifth Pay Commission to submit its report as early as possible and implement the same from January, 2006.

These demands were made by the pensioners while celebrating Pensioners’ Day under the banner of the Government Pensioners Welfare Association at Pracheen Shiv Mandir here today. The function was presided over by former Punjab police officer Gurdev Singh Bains while chief manager of the local main branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) Gurcharan Singh was the chief guest.

The association also honoured eight pensioners.

Elaborating on their demands, speakers addressing the function urged the state government to give old-age allowance from the age of 65 to all pensioners, travelling allowance for wife and husband (both pensioners) and family pensioners, house maintenance allowance for pensioners and the revival of option for taking pension either from bank or treasury office. 


Energy conservation award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has been conferred the National Energy Conservation Award 2008. Balour Singh, director, PEDA received the award on behalf of minister for non-conventional energy Bikram Singh Majithia from union minister for power Sushil Kumar Shinde on the occasion of National Energy Conservation Day function held in New Delhi last evening.

Stating this here today, Majithia said the award was in recognition of pioneering work being done by Punjab in the field of energy conservation.

In a novel financial model evolved by PEDA, the energy service companies will invest their own funds and provide efficient technology for lighting, air-conditioning and water pumping and recover their investment from the savings that will accrue in the electricity bills. 


Steps to improve power supply in place
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 17
Chairman of the PSEB Y.S. Ratra said yesterday that in an attempt to provide maximum power to residents, the board had taken some important steps.

Ratra said the board was making continuous efforts to improve transmission system in order to provide round-the-clock power supply. “Losses are being reduced and by reducing these losses by 1 per cent, the board can save about Rs 100 crore annually,” he added.

During this year, capacity of seven 220KV sub-stations had been increased by 150.50 MVA, of nine 132KV sub-stations by 132.50MVA and that of 77 66KV sub-stations by 527.05MVA, making a total increase in capacity of 888.05MVA in the overall system. Out of this, 182.75MVA capacity had been added by commissioning 18 new sub-stations.

Ratra further disclosed that in 2008-09, till November, a capacity of 516MVA had been added at six 220KV sub-stations, 32.5MVA at two 132KV sub-stations and 314.5MVA at 30 66KV sub-stations. With this addition, the board had added another 867.5MVA in the system that included 241MVA through 19 newly commissioned sub-stations. The total capacity of PSEB had been enhanced to 27430.5MVA.

Ratra said the board had added 10.860MVAR capacitor banks of 66KV and 42.191MVAR capacitor banks of 11KV in 2009-09 till November-end. With this, the board had been able to reduce losses by 4 per cent, thereby saving a substantial amount of money.

The chairman said the board was maintaining huge network of its sub-stations and transmission lines in a good manner. 47 substations of 220KV, 77 of 132KV, more than 450 of 66KV and 87 substation of 33KV were being maintained. 4424.458 km of 220KV lines, 3067.548 km of 132KV lines and 6138.584km of 66KV lines had been set up and obsolete equipment were being replaced with new ones so that uninterrupted power supply can be provided to consumers.


Sidhu urges CM to acquire 1,000 acres for Rajasansi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Punjab BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu today presented a memorandum to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal demanding that 1,000 acres of land be acquired on the same pattern as done in Mohali for the Rajasansi airport in Amritsar keeping in view its future growth potential.

Addressing a press conference here after submitting the memorandum to the Chief Minister, Sidhu also urged Badal that the Indian Air Force be requested to vacate 200 acres out of the 360 acres in their possession at the site so as to facilitate upgradation of the airport. He said the IAF could be suitably compensated for this move.

Sidhu said he had requested the Chief Minister to acquire 1,000 acres of land for the airport keeping in view the need for further development in the next few decades. He said Amritsar was poised not only to receive passenger traffic but would emerge as a major cargo hub and that the state must put things in place right now so that paucity of land did not hinder the expansion of the airport at a later date.

Sidhu said the Chief Minister had reacted positively to his memorandum and promised to look into the matter expeditiously. 


Gabria Case
ASI determined to fight till end
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Assistant sub-inspector of police Hardev Singh, who had lodged a DDR against jails minister Hira Singh Gabria, is determined to fight till the end for the honour of police uniform. Surviving all kinds of pressures from all quarters, he said if he would be denied justice, he would knock at the doors of the judiciary and walk away with justice.

"I will go till the apex court if all other doors are slammed on me. I will ensure that the claims that the police is insulated from political interference are proven true," he said, adding that he had not done anything wrong that he should be treated like this at the hands of a minister.

"It is fine that he is an elected representative. He could have directly asked me to relook into the case. There was no point abusing me and belittling me and my uniform," he said.

While the ASI remained undeterred, reports continued to pour in that he had apologised to the minister. He, however, denied the reports, stating that he would not apologise. "I would prefer to resign than to ask for forgiveness,” he said. SSP R.K. Jaiswal said there was no headway in the case. The ASI had gone to the High Court yesterday and he could not be contacted.


Khaira for resolution on turban issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Punjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira today requested the state government to call an emergency one-day session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to pass a resolution to support the case filed by the United Sikhs organisation before the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), challenging the ban on wearing of turbans in schools in France.

In a letter to the Chief Minister today, the Congress leader said though the ban on wearing religious symbols in schools and other government organisations had been in force in France since March, 2004, neither the SGPC nor the SAD had done much to get it revoked.

Khaira said now that an independent group of Sikhs living in the USA and other European countries had filed a case before the UNHRC in New York, it was the moral duty of everyone to support their genuine grievance. The Congress leader said the SGPC could also pass a similar resolution.


VAT: Board of Finance ministers to meet PM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 17
Concerned over a huge dip in the collection of VAT across the country, the Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers yesterday decided to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek an amount of Rs 20,000 crore to fund the plan expenditure of various states for the current fiscal year.

“We have sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to seek funds to meet the plan expenditure of various states in the light of substantial decline in the collection of VAT across the country”, said state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, who is a member of the committee headed by finance minister of West Bengal Asim Das Gupta.

Talking to The Tribune on phone, Manpreet Singh said there was 23 per cent average increase across the country in VAT collection in October. However, it came down to just 13 per cent in November. “Obviously fall in VAT collection has made various states sit up because this money is used to fund the annual plan in most of the states”, said Manpreet, who attended the meeting in Delhi today.

He said except Punjab, which was holding on as far as increase in VAT collection was concerned, there had been substantially fall in its collection in most of the states, especially those having a large industrial and manufacturing base.

If the recession persisted for some more months, then there could be serious problems to the economy of states having a large industrial base. However, Punjab would not be affected much because its manufacturing base was small. The state’s agrarian economy was doing fine at the moment.


Violation of building norms
MC officer’s failure to report is ‘misconduct’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the failure of a municipal corporation officer to report on continuing violation of the building by-laws and unauthorised construction will amount to misconduct.

Taking up a petition on unauthorised construction in Ludhiana, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh ruled: “If an officer of the corporation fails to report about an on-going violation, he commits misconduct, for which he ought to be suitably dealt with by the authorities.”

In their petition filed in public interest, Jaspal Singh and another petitioner had earlier sought direction to the State of Punjab and other respondents to stop construction in residential area of Nagar Mandi, Chaura Bazaar, Ludhiana. Directions were also sought against granting electricity connection for the unauthorised construction. During the course of hearing, the Bench was informed by the municipal corporation that permission was not taken for raising the construction.

It was further stated that the respondent responsible for the construction was the president of a gurdwara. He had constructed nearly 75 shops in the gurdwara premises.

In a counter affidavit, it was stated that as per the prevailing practice, religious institutions do not take any permission from the municipal corporation before raising any building within their premises.

The Bench observed: “The offending construction appears to have been started and completed by the respondent without first obtaining the requisite sanction from the corporation as was necessary under the leading by-laws. To that extent, the construction is unauthorised and could be proceeded against.

What is surprising and difficult to appreciate is the inaction of the municipal corporation authorities in the matter of preventing such construction at the appropriate stage. There is no explanation forthcoming from the corporation for its failure to take appropriate action at the appropriate stage.

There is also no explanation why the corporation did not proceed against the officer concerned with implementing and enforcing the building by-laws in the area in question.”

The Bench observed: “In case the respondent submits building plans and an application for post facto regularisation of the construction within six weeks, the competent authority of the corporation shall examine the same and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law.”


Fake Currency Case
Probe conducted in shoddy manner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17
Punjab virtually gave a clean chit to former senior superintendent of police Gurcharan Singh Pherurai in the fake currency case.

In a report of inquiry conducted in the matter by inspector-general of police CSR Reddy, it has been stated in no uncertain terms that the recovery of fake currency was doubtful. Besides this, there was no cogent evidence that the witnesses were pressurised to turn hostile in the case against him.

Pherurai was acquitted after witnesses in the case against him had gone back on their statements. Taking a serious view of the matter, the then Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, on April 25, had observed: “We are of the considered opinion that there is a total inaction on the part of Punjab DGP and the home secretary to take corrective measures when responsible officers of their offices have resiled from their statements in the court.”

As the matter came up for hearing today, the report was placed before Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh. In the conclusion drawn in the report, it was stated: “From the facts, it becomes clear that the investigation of the case was conducted in a shoddy and unprofessional manner; and it seems indirectly that the official witnesses have deposed falsely at the first instance itself. It also seems that the recovery of the fake currency in this case is doubtful.

It is also clear that the police witness in this FIR dated September 23, 2007, Raikot, seems to have been influenced at the instance of the accused in this case as one of the accused, Gurcharan Singh Pherurai, former SSP is an influential person. But no cogent and unrebuttable evidence has come on record to prove that they were pressurised to become hostile. Had any such pressure been used, they should have approached their senior officers for remedial measures, which they did not for reasons best known to them.” 


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