5 Pb ministers dub Phoolka’s threat to quit as ‘attempt to obstruct justice’


Chandigarh, Sep 2: Five senior Punjab ministers Sunday termed as an "attempt to obstruct course of justice" the AAP leader H S Phoolka's threat to quit as MLA if the Congress government failed to book former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and retired DGP S S Saini for police firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan.
Phoolka had on Saturday given 15-day ultimatum to cabinet ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Charanjit Singh Channi, Manpreet Singh Badal and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, asking them to get a case of murder registered against Badal and Saini.
"His threat to quit as MLA is an attempt to obstruct the course of justice," they said, adding such acts do not behove a senior leader in a democratic polity. The ministers, in a joint statement here, said the government was committed to book and punish those indicted by Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh Commission which probed the sacrilege incidents through expeditious and thorough investigation, in accordance with the due process of law. Meanwhile, SAD has dubbed Phoolka's ultimatum as a "political gimmick to derive political mileage".
The Amarinder Singh government was committed to fulfilling its election promise to delivering justice to the innocent victims of the indiscriminate police firing, said the ministers, asserting that the guilty would be booked, irrespective of their political affiliation or position. "Phoolka's ultimatum to book certain individuals in 15 days was a violation of the basic tenets of equity and justice," said the ministers in a joint statement.
"As a senior lawyer himself, Phoolka would be well versed with the needs of equity and justice," the ministers said, and asked the AAP leader not to play politics on such a sensitive religious matter.
Even the Supreme Court would ordinarily be loath to interfere in a criminal investigation, except in the case of mala fides being involved, since the investigation of an offence is the domain of the police or the investigation agency, which is expected to act impartially, the ministers pointed out. The unanimous resolution of the Punjab Assembly for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the desecration and firing incidents was a sacrosanct directive, which the government was fully committed to implementing, said the ministers.
"Phoolka should remember that the SIT has been set up to probe the truth behind the desecration of our holy scriptures. Respect to the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib or any other holy text such as the Bible, the Geeta or the Quran, itself demands that such a probe be carried out freely and transparently, without any interference, for which the government was also in process of amending the law," said the ministers, in the statement.
Demands for arrest or threats to resign from the Assembly even before the investigation is commenced by the SIT was tantamount to offering the accused ready legal defence of bias and prejudice, said the ministers. They urged all political parties to cooperate to allow the SIT to work freely and fairly, without any pressure. Earlier, Phoolka alleged most of the Congress MLAs including the five ministers had demanded while participating in the discussion on Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents, in Vidhan Sabha that both Badal and Saini be made accused in the police firing case.
However, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh did not accept the demand of the ministers, Phoolka had said.
Phoolka, who has been fighting cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims had said that due procedure was not followed by the police in firing incidents and Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in which two people died in 2015.

Share This Story

Comment On This Story


Photo Gallery

BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty