Chandigarh, June 6
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has issued third notice to the Punjab government officials in the matter of allegations of sexual misconduct against Punjab cabinet minister Lal Chand Kataruchak after the state government failed to submit action taken report to the commission despite the two prior notices.
In the third notice, NCSC directed Punjab’s Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and DIG Border Range Amritsar to immediately record statement of the victim by video-conference or in person in Delhi, provide him security, and submit ATR by June 12.
Taking strong notice of the complaint by one Keshav Kumar, who had made accusations of sexual misconduct against Punjab cabinet minister Lal Chand Kataruchak, the commission headed by chairman Vijay Sampla had on May 5 issued first notice to the Punjab government officials and had asked them to submit immediate action taken report and provide security to the victim, who was receiving threat calls from the minister.
Following the notice, the state government had on May 8 constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the matter but no action taken report was submitted before the commission.
Subsequently, the NCSC had on May 25 issued a second notice to the state government. Citing threats of life to the victim, the NCSC had asked the officials and police to record the statement of the victim by video-conference or in person in Delhi, provide him proper security and submit the report by June 1.
Looking at the Punjab government’s delay in providing justice as well as security to the victim, NCSC chairman Vijay Sampla said, “Despite repeated notices, no solid action has been taken by the state government. This shows the state government’s lackadaisical and reluctant approach towards proving justice to the scheduled caste residents of the state. The state government is directed to submit an action taken report by June 12. Also, the government is directed to immediately record statements of the victim by video-conference or in person in Delhi.”
In repeated complaints to NCSC, the victim Keshav Kumar demanded justice as well as security, citing threats.
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