M A I N   N E W S

PIL: Badals had interests in private transport when policy was made
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, November 1
Just over a month after The Tribune carried a series of news reports on manipulations in Punjab’s transport strategy to rev up profits of private bus operations, it is emerging that the policy was allegedly made “when the head of the government and his family had substantial interests in the private transport sector”.

In an application submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, Barrister-at-Law Himmat Singh Shergill minced no words to say the policy is prima facie irregular and illegal.

The application is scheduled to come up for discussion before the Bench of Acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Rajiv Narain Raina on Wednesday.

Shergill had filed a petition in public interest on the basis of The Tribune exposé on how the transport policy has been manipulated for driving private players in Punjab towards profits.

The application comes just about a fortnight after the High Court asked Shergill to browse through the website of Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The suggestion had come after the Punjab Advocate-General had claimed that details of all companies were on the website.

Shergill said the documents downloaded from the website show: “Orbit Transporters Registered, Baaz Transporters Private Limited, Dabwali Transport and Real Estate Private Limited, were all shareholders in Orbit Resorts Private Limited between September 29, 2007, and September 26, 2008, along with other shareholders, which included Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal, his brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia, his father-in-law Satyajit Singh Majithia, his mother-in-law Sukhmanjus Majithia, and his sister Praneet Kaur Kairon.”

“But on April 10, 2010, among other transfer of shares, it is very pertinent to bring to the notice of the Court that the shares held by Orbit Transporter Registered in Orbit Resorts Private Limited were transferred to Sukhbir Singh Badal.”

Shergill has gone on to add: “The documents also show (that) Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is a majority shareholder of Dabwali Transport Company Limited and the company’s balancesheet shows that in FY 2007-08 the turnover and other income of Dabwali Transport Company was Rs 1246.9 lakh, whereas three financial years later - that is FY 2010-11 -- the turnover and other income of Dabwali Transport Company increased manifolds and was Rs 2906.98 lakh for FY 2010-11.”

“Further it is submitted that profit after tax of Dabwali Transport Company in FY 2007-08 was Rs 117.42 lakh, whereas profit after tax of the same company for FY 2010-11 was Rs 422.54 lakh.”

Shergill has added: “Ever since the new policy has come into force, the company in which the Chief Minister’s family is a major shareholder has made manifold profits as indicated from the balancesheets… The Chief Minister ought to have recused himself from making a policy in which his family members were to be the direct beneficiaries of huge monetary gains.” 





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