CHANDIGARH: Sept 14: Quoting the Supreme Court judgment of September 11 which categorically described record tampering as "crime worse than murder", the Senior Punjab minister and Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary Captain Kanwaljit Singh today asked the disgraced former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to stop taking shelter behind technical issues and confront the charges regarding his involvement in the Rs 360 crore Amritsar Improvement trust scam. Ironically, the apex court passed this judgment "on the same day the former CM was expelled from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha following his severe indictment by the Special House Committee in the Amritsar land scam and the subsequent tampering of the records of the Vidhan Sabha. The Supreme Court cancelled the bail of the billionaire Ansal Brothers, sending them to jail for committing the high crime of tampering with records.
Captain Kanwaljit Singh said that Amarinder should not fail to notice the strong irony of the timing of the Supreme Court on record tampering and the decision of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha expelling him from the House should not be lost on the disgraced former Chief Minister.
Both judgments came at exactly 4.20 PM on the same day (Wednesday). The SC verdict also makes mockery of Amarinder’s claims that the issue involved mere technicalities. " The SC verdict clearly shows that the former Chief Minister is guilty of a crime worse than murder. As executive chief, he murdered honesty, public trust, the dignity of the House and democratic instititutions. His hands are soaked with blood, "said the Akali leader in a hard hitting statement here.
It may be recalled that, in its judgment on Wednesday in the Ansal brothers case, the Supreme Court said: "Tampering with judicial records is a crime worse than murder or dacoity." With these words, the apex court cancelled the bail of Sushil and Gopal Ansal, owners of Uphaar cinema where 59 cinegoers were killed in a fire tragedy in 1997. "Amarinder Singh and the Congress party should now realise the gravity of the crime involved that was a precursor to the inquiry which the House launched and reached its logical conclusion, coincidentally on the same day and hour as the Supreme Court did.
"So the message from the seats of justice is clear: those who thwart the course of investigation shall not be allowed to go scot free. If Amarinder Singh refuses to learn from the Punjab Assembly’s decision, he should at least pay heed to the message from the highest court of the country, unless he thinks of Moti Bagh Patiala as a sovereign entity devoted to the cause of the corrupt and the debauch," said the Punjab Co-operation Minister.
"It is surprising that at a time when the much respected Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Somnath Chatterjee, is leading a debate to strengthen parliamentary democracy, a disgraced and expelled MLA is asking the judiciary to quash his expulsion ordered by the House."
"Amarinder Singh seems to have a funny idea that the House cannot decide whether tempering with its records and bringing serious disrepute to its business of law making should deserve a response by the House," Captain Kanwaljit Singh said.
The SAD General Secretary said that it was strange that Amarinder Singh has asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court for relief after his expulsion from the Assembly but has still not denied that the records of the House were indeed tempered to escape any inquiry into the land scam. Nor has this fact been denied by even the Congress In fact, the Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal even spared the services of three MLAs of the Congress to help probe the matter and find out who was to benefit from the tempering. The House Committee, Mr. Badal clearly inquired into the matter to fix responsibility for the record tamepering, at whose instance it was done and who were its principal beneficiaries. "
The Akali General Secretary further said that no one should be allowed to use the slogan of vendetta as a camouflage for corrupt deals. "Crying vendetta is one thing, but Amarinder Singh is now down to perpetrating lies. While he is asking for relief on the basis that his actions of exempting the land and causing crores of loss to the state was taken as an executive head of the government, he needs to explain to the people of Punjab which capacity as member of the executive or of the house exempts him from action for tampering with sacred records of the august house. He said the Akali Dal can understand the alacrity and haste with which Amarinder Singh rushed to seek relief as he well knows that in these times of Right to Information, hundreds of citizens will be asking the Congress High Command the basis on which Amarinder Singh continued to be a member of the party.He said the Vidhan Sabha, the civil society and the people of Punjab must take notice of those who are accusing the collective wisdom of the House as being a "premeditated conspiracy".
Ignorance of law is no excuse for those who commit contempt. As for those who try to cause tempering of the records, the Supreme Court has already explained it well," he said.