The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today urged Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore to refuse assent to the appointment of Congressman Justice (retd) Mehtab Singh Gill as Lokpal, saying Gill did not meet the constitutional, political and moral qualifications needed to be eligible for this august post.A joint SAD-BJP delegation led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Parveen Bansal submitted a memorandum to the Governor detailing Justice Gill’s close association with the Congress party as well as chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, his abuse of power as head of Commission of Inquiry formed by the Congress government as well as his tainted record as judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court during the course of which he was accused of malpractices including using his influence with disgraced former PPSC Chairman Ravi Sidhu to get jobs for his kin in the State government.The delegation stressed that the Lok Pal should be a man of impeccable character and represent Public Interest and not Private Interest as was the case of Justice Gill who could not be trusted to deal with complaints received by him in an impartial and fair manner. It said the judge was also barred from holding this august post as per the Punjab Lokpal Act (1996) which stated that Lokpal shall not be connected with any political party.
Briefing the Governor, Mr Sukhbir Badal informed that Justice Gill wore his allegiance to the Congress party on his sleeve. He said the judge had provided his residence in Charik village in Moga to then Pradesh Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh during the 2013 Moga by-election for use as Amarinder’s residence cum camp office. He said this was not all. “During the run up to the 2017 assembly elections Capt Amarinder appointed Justice Gill to a committee which was assigned with preparing the blueprint for the Congress party’s election manifesto”.Detailing Justice Gill’s role as head of Commission of Inquiry to look into alleged false cases, the delegation members said the retired judge had brazenly misused his powers and transgressed into the jurisdiction of investigation agencies and courts by arbitrarily cancelling FIRs purely based on his proximity with the Congress government. They said Justice Gill had thus followed the whip, command and dictate of the Congress government as head of the Commission of Inquiry.
The SAD president said Justice Gill had also proved by his actions that he was also hand in glove with former leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira. He said Gill’s candidature as Lokpal was approved by Khaira under a tacit understanding with the Congress government. “Now that Khaira has been unceremoniously removed as leader of opposition it proves the opposition party does not have any faith in decisions taken by Khaira who has been commonly termed as B team of the Congress party”. Mr Badal said now Gill’s candidature needed to be revisited as leader of opposition had been changed before appointment of Lokpal and now this appointment needed to be considered by the new competent authority.It was also brought to the notice of the Governor that Justice Gill had as head of the Commission of Inquiry cancelled 17 cases registered against Sukhpal Khaira and his supporters. The delegation said this happened because of the close proximity between Khaira and Gill and also proved that Gill’s appointment proposal was a quid pro quo between Gill, the chief minister and Khaira.
The SAD delegation also submitted record to the Governor regarding Justice Gill’s functioning as judge of the high court. It said the Punjab Vigilance bureau had found leads to a slew of malpractices in the high court at the behest of Gil and another retired judge. It said phone conversations were taped and included discussion about appointment of judges, fixing specific cases at the high court through touts and manipulating the court registry. The delegation also apprised the Governor that the then chief justice had recommended Gill’s transfer after he was indicted in another report referring to his role in the PPSC scandal in 2002. It said Gill was also asked to proceed on indefinite leave by chief justice G B Pattanaik pending inquiry against him for using his influence with the disgraced PPSC Chairman to get jobs for his kin the State government.Mr Badal also highlighted that the law and order situation had completely collapsed in the State and it seemed chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh did not have any control over the civil or police administration.
He said Punjab Police had also got out of control as could be seen from the heinous atrocities inflicted upon Sikh youth at Sanour in Patiala recently. He also highlighted the recent rape and murder of an eight year old girl in Qadian in Gurdaspur and said the main accused in the case was being given political shelter.The delegation members included Gobind Singh Longowal President, SGPC, S. Charanjit Singh Atwal S. Maheshinder Singh Grewal,S. Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema, Bibi Jagir Kaur, S. Gulzar Singh Ranike, S. Bikram Singh Majithia, S. Baldev Singh Maan, S. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, S. Lakhbir Singh Lodinangal, Sh. Pawan Kumar Teenu, Sh. N.K Sharma,S. Baldev Singh Khaira, S. Dilraj Singh Bhunder, Dr. Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, S. Hardeep Singh Buterla President, Chandigarh Unit, Bibi Harjinder Kaur Member SGPC, Jagdip Singh Nakai, S Charnjit Singh Brar and Sh Arun Narang.