Monthly Archives: MAY 2017


Sukhbir Badal reconstitutes Core Committee of SAD
30.05.17 - team pt
Sukhbir Badal reconstitutes Core Committee of SAD



The Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal today reconstituted the core committee of the the Shiromani Akali Dal inducting four new members in it apart from the earlier ones.
 
Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will continue to be Patron of the committee. 
 
Senior Members of the party  included in the committee are Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Tota Singh, Kirpal Singh Badungar, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Charanjit Singh Atwal, Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sucha Singh Langah, Ajit Singh Kohar, Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Sikander Singh Maluka, Daljit Singh Cheema, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Bibi Jagir Kaur, Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Gulzar Singh Ranike, Hari Singh Zira, Avtar Singh Hit, Bikram Singh Majithia, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Surjit Singh Rakhra and Baldev Singh Mann.
 
Newly constituted committee will meet for the first meeting on June 3rd at 3.00 pm in Jalandhar and discuss the political scenario in the state. 




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CM must accept resignation of Rana Gurjit immediately: Bir Devinder
29.05.17 - team pt
CM must accept resignation of Rana Gurjit immediately: Bir Devinder



Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh is left with no other option but to accept the resignation of the of Irrigation & Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh whose probity is in question said Bir Devinder Singh, former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha

Bir said in a statement issued today that judicial probe ordered by the Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh to investigate in to the allegations of impropriety against Rana Gurjit is a welcome step of the Government to clear the incorrectness in the multi-crore Sand and gravel mining auctions, conducted by the State government. But the majesty of the Judicial enquiry would sound as a mere hogwash, if the Minister in question whose ‘questionable probity’ is being inquired in to by a retired High Court Judge, continue as member of the council of Minister.

He further stated, ”the position of the Minister Rana Gurjit Singh becomes untenable immediately after the Chief Minister has ordered probe in to the allegations of impropriety against him, because of his questionable integrity. The expression of the Chief Minister's order must be read as lack of confidence in the integrity of the Minister. Therefore, It sounds highly inappropriate for Rana to continue as Minister, even for a second thereafter. His continuation as Minister during the probe would be a cause of discomfiture for the probing Judge.”
 
Bir further said that if after the submission of the report of the Commission of Enquiry, Rana is exonerated of the charges against him, he could very well be re-inducted in to the Cabinet as a vindicated Minister.




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CM orders judicial inquiry into charges against Rana Gurjit
29.05.17 - team pt
CM orders judicial inquiry into charges against Rana Gurjit



Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered the setting up a one man judicial commission to probe the allegations of impropriety against Irrigation & Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh in the multi-crore sand mining auctions conducted recently by the state government.
 
The inquiry would be conducted by Justice (Retd) J S Narang and he would submit his report within one month. The terms of reference for the inquiry commission, formed under the Commission of Inquiry Act, would be notified soon. 
 
The Minister has meanwhile offered to resign in order to ensure a free and fair investigation into the matter. The chief minister has however, asked Rana Gurjit to continue till the outcome of the judicial probe.
 
Asserting his stand of zero tolerance to corruption, the Chief Minister announced his decision to set up a Judicial Commission after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports charging the minister with acquiring certain mines in the names of his company’s staff.
 
Though Rana Gurjit has denied any links of his company, Rana Sugars Limited, with the auctions, and has categorically stated that his company has no stake, direct or indirect, in the sand mining business, the Chief Minister decided, in the interest of ethics and propriety, to get the matter probed at the highest level to ensure total transparency.
 
There was no question of allowing any deviation from his government’s avowed policy of providing clean governance, said Captain Amarinder, adding that he would take all steps to ensure that there is no violation of the trust reposed by the people of Punjab in his government and the Congress party.




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Amarinder speaks to Rajasthan CM over assault on four Sikhs in Ajmer
27.05.17 - TEAM PT
Amarinder speaks to Rajasthan CM over assault on four Sikhs in Ajmer



Taking a serious view of the reported merciless assault on four Sikh men in Ajmer, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday spoke to his Rajasthan counterpart, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, to seek her personal intervention in ensuring a thorough probe into the incident of mob violence and stringent action against the constable alleged to have abetted the crowd. 

Amarinder also urged Rajasthan Chief Minister to direct the police to take immediate steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents, which could escalate if not curbed through strong and prompt action by the police. Describing the reported incident as unfortunate, Captain said the Rajasthan government needed to fix culpability and ensure that the culprits are duly punished.

The Chief Minister expressed serious concern over the fact that the incident, which reportedly took place in April, was being sought to be give a communal hue, as per media reports. He expressed shock at the fact that the incident did not come to the notice of the local police till a video surfaced on the social media showing the mob drag the four Sikhs out of a Bolera SUV and thrashing them mercilessly.

He further said he was shocked at reports of a constable, who reached the spot, not only failing to save the victims but in fact found instigating the crowd to "teach them a lesson.” He urged the Rajasthan Chief Minister to ensure an inquiry into the charges and take serious action against the cop if found guilty.

Though the Rajasthan State Minorities Commission has reportedly taken cognizance of the April 24 video and sought a report on action taken by the Ajmer police, a strong signal needed to be sent to the perpetrators of the violence by the political dispensation of the state, said Amarinder.

The fact that the four victims were sevadars from an Alwar gurudwara and had stopped at Rajgarh village for langar and alms makes the whole affair even more condemnable, the Punjab Chief Minister said, adding that such intolerance had no place in a civilized society and any attempt to create communal strife should be nipped in the bud.




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Rana Gurjit Sand Mining Controversy: Activist demands action from CM against bureaucrat and review of E-bids
27.05.17 - team pt
Rana Gurjit Sand Mining Controversy: Activist demands action from CM against bureaucrat and review of E-bids



In a new twist to the Benami sand mining contract awarded to the ‘kitchen-help’ of Punjab Power Minister, Rana Gurjit Singh, leading Public Interest Litigation (PIL) activist lawyer H. C. Arora today demanded from Chief Minister Punjab the removal of Addl. Chief Secretary, Industry and Commerce, Punjab and review of all e-bids.
 
Advocate Arora, served a demand notice on Capt Amarinder Singh, CM Punjab and D.P. Reddy, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Industry and Commerce, Punjab setting two-weeks deadline for appropriate action.
 
In the demand notice Arora mentioned that a detailed news report appeared in "The Tribune’ of 25.5.2017 , which indicates investment of huge benami amounts, and/ or havala money or proceeds of money laundering for getting gravel contracts through open auction thereof. The news report discloses that one Amit Bahadur, a cook in the office of Rana Sugars, has bagged an expensive mining contract in the re-auction, at Saidpur Khurd village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahar) for a whopping Rs.26.51 crore. (The Power Minister of Punjab, Rana Gurjit Singh and his wife are the majority share holders in M/s. Rana Sugars). Another employee of Rana Sugars, Mr. Kulwinder Paul Singh, has bagged the Mehadipur quarry for Rs.9.21 crore. This person is stated to be a liaison man for Rana Sugars and he deals with various Government departments. Presently, he is stated to be working as Deputy General Manager in the said company. Gurinde Singh, who takes care of cane operations at Rana Sugars, is stated to have bagged a quarry in Rampur Kalan village in Mohali district for Rs.4.11 crore. Another employee of same company has bagged a mining contract at village Bairsal, for Rs.10.58 crore. The names of these four persons figure at serial no. 79/83/92/93 in the list of successful bidders.
 
Further the PIL activist said that as per an interview recorded by some private channels, Amit Bahadur has categorically admitted in the said interview that his resignation from the services of  Rana Sugars was accepted and he was relieved on 30.3.2017. Another employee, Kulwinder Singh also admitted that he recently left the service under Rana Sugars and both of them have stated that they are now working under Captain Randhawa, who, according to them, is the person who is the real investor in the auction of sand mines. As regards salaries under Captain Randhawa, both of them have stated that there are not sure what amount shall be paid to them as salary. They have also stated that most probably, they may be given a share of 4 or 5% in the profits, that may be earned from the sand mines. Thus, it is clear that after Rana Gurjit Singh became Cabinet Minister, a book entry for transferring the 4 employees, who have emerged as successful bidders of sand mines in the recent auction, has been made to show that they have no connection now with Rana Sugars. Thus, it is a matter which requires deeper investigation, to ascertain as to whether money deposited by the 4 successful bidders, mentioned above belongs to Cabinet Minister Rana Gurjit Singh or Captain Randhawa, as according to a public statement made by a Shri Sukhpal Khaira, Captain Randhawa was the election Manager of Rana Gurjit Singh in the recently held Assembly Elections.
 
Arora further mentioned in the demand notice that the conduct of respondent No. 2, who is Secretary, Industries inviting e-bids in a manner, which has resulted into "benami” ( the name of fictitious persons in whose names the money has been shown to be deposited towards bid) are encouraged to make bids for sand mines . This policy seriously violates the letter and spirit of "The Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988, as amended vide, "The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016”. A perusal of the news report that has appeared in the "Times of India” today (on 27.5.2017) shows that Amit Bahadur, who had emerged as successful bidder for sand mine worth Rs. 26 Crores in the e-auction, is getting very paltry amount of salary of Rs. 11,706 per month. His balance in the State Bank of India account is just Rs. 4840 as on 1.4.2017. His Annual Income Tax Return for the years 2015-16 is at Rs. 92,679. Thus, the procedure for e-auction of sand mines has been devised and implemented with such criminal negligence and with deliberate intention, so as to enable the investment of black money, havala money/ money laundering money arising out of crime in winning the auction of sand mines.
 
Demand notice mentions that "the criminal negligence on the part of the respondent No. 2 is so much that the procedure devised by him/under him, is to the effect that the Income Tax Returns for the last 3 years which are required to be submitted before participating in the e-auction, may be of the benamidars, and not of the original investors. Any prudent or honest person in place of respondent No. 2, would not have devised a procedure where the ITRs of real investors are not obtained, but the the ITRs of persons authorized to make e-bid, though such a person may not have means to pay even the earnest money, are demanded. The requirement to get the ITRs of the previous 3 years from the persons authorized to make the bid does not serve any purpose, it only results into giving free hand to the criminals for laundering of black money/benami money to invest in the sand mining.
 
That in my considered opinion, the application of the four persons mentioned above, must have been rejected, and they must not have been registered as prospective bidders, as they did not have the capacity to pay the bid amount, on emerging as successful bidders.
 
That the aforesaid procedures devised and adopted by the respondent No. 2, under the respondent no.1, has also violated the letter and spirit of the "Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002”, and it cannot be ruled out that in many cases , the proceeds of the crime might have been invested into sand mines, and the matter becomes more serious for the reason that Industries Department is directly held by Captain Amrinder Singh, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, as a Minister-Incharge.”
 
Advocate stated further "I would therefore, demand from respondent no.1-Captain Amrinder Singh, to search his conscience, and to make amends for his conduct in not having proper supervision of the respondent no.2-D P Reddy, and other officers under him. I also call upon respondent no.1 to take appropriate action against respondent no.2, who should be immediately divested of department of Industries, and must be charge sheeted for his criminal negligence. I also call upon the respondent no.1 to immediately re-consider/review all those cases where e-bids have been given through some "benamidar” or authorized person, and thereby the rich and powerful persons have succeeded in getting rights in sand mines, without disclosing their identity.”
 
Putting the government on two weeks’ notice Arora said, "In case I do not hear/receive any constructive response from you within a period of 2 weeks from the receipt of this notice, which is being sent by e-mail, in that event, I shall be left no other alternative except to approach the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana, or the Enforcement Directorate, through appropriate proceedings for taking appropriate action against the respondent No. 2 also, in addition to the action that may be taken against all those investors who have indulged into money laundering/benami transaction thereby acquiring the rights in the sand mines . Needless to state that the proposed proceedings shall solely be at your risk and cost.”




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