M A I N   N E W S

AG says Moga MLA quit as PSWC chief, but he stays on
Sanjeev Singh Bariana/TNS

Chandigarh, August 29
The controversial Moga MLA Joginder Pal Jain continues to hold the office of the chairman of Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) despite the Advocate General of Punjab having informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 19 that he had resigned.

“I have not resigned and I am not going to resign from the post of the chairman because none of the charges against me holds any ground. I have already communicated this to the government, including the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal,” said Jain.

Jain did not attend his office in Sector 17 today while a secretary answered queries.

When contacted, Jain said, “The Advocate General had just said he had my resignation in his pocket. This only meant in case the situation demanded, I would offer my resignation.”

The issue pertains to his conviction by a Delhi court in January 1988 under sections 419 (impersonation) and 471 (forged documentation) of the IPC. The Punjab government is expected to file a reply in the high court by September 16. Jain said, “I was chairman of the Improvement Trust, Moga, for eight years since 1994. I have been elected MLA thrice. All the information was provided to the office of the Election Commissioner which was a higher authority”.Sitting Congress MLA Jain had resigned from the Congress in December 2012 to join the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal. Punjab Advocate-General Ashok Aggarwal had told a Division Bench that Jain had resigned from the post. It was also mentioned that his antecedents, including his conviction in a case around 20 years ago, did not amount to disqualification for appointment to the post of corporation chairman. Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Sanjay Kishan Kaul had observed, “If there are some more persons available, one of those can be suitable for appointment to this post. You should take a right decision. Your decision should inspire confidence in public.

Also, please appreciate that the issue before us is a larger issue and not the issue of this particular individual. We hope you (the government) shall take a right decision.” Commenting on the other issues in the writ petition, Jain said, “It was alleged that my appointment was illegal because the department did not get prior permission of the chairman. According to an amendment, it did not need any prior permission and the chairman was only needed to be informed”.

“As far as my conviction was concerned, there was no penalty or fine involved. It was just a probation period and it happened in 1992. Even under law, I cannot be disqualified after so many years”, he said. Advocate General Ashok Aggarwal could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. 

The case

  • MLA Joginder Pal Jain had allegedly used a “forged passport dishonestly and fraudulently with a view to cheat the immigration authorities”
  • The case pertains to Jain going to Hong Kong via Bangkok on January 29, 1988
  • He was found to be in possession of a passport issued in the name of Mohan Lal on which Jain’s photograph was affixed
  • A Delhi court had released him on probation after he pleaded guilty
  • Jain claimed that the passport had the name by which his family called him at home





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