Vidhan Sabha committee rejects Capt Singh's plea on land deal

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Chandigarh, July 8 (UNI) The Special Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today rejected the plea of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to drop all proceedings against him in the 32.10 acre land deal of the Amritsar Improvement Trust on Jalandhar-Amritsar road.

"We reject the written plea put forward by Capt Singh, who has not been cooperative in the case", Committee Chairman and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda told reporters after a hearing of the land scam case here.

The 9-member Committee was formed by the 13th Vidhan Sabha last year by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP government to inquire into the deal that took place during the tenure of Capt Singh and had led to huge losses to the state exchequer.

Capt Singh and former local bodies minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh appeared before the Committee today. This was the second hearing of the Committee which also includes two Congress members.

Mr Dhanda a SAD MLA said that the Committee would finalise its report after the next hearing on July 15, whether Capt Singh appears or not. He clarified that the Committee was formed only to inquire into the deal and give its view point to the House.

Capt Singh in his written reply to the Committee asserted that as Chief Minister and Leader of the 12th Vidhan Sabha, he was not answerable to 13th Vidhan Sabha and as such to this committee.

Quoting a Supreme Court judgement, Capt Singh requested the Committee to drop the proceedings. "It will not be possible for me to appear before the Committee", he stated in his reply.

Later talking to mediapersons, Capt Singh claimed that the House could not hear this particular land deal as two cases in this context were already pending in the Punjab and Haryana High court.

He also questioned the locus standi of Mr Dhanda to hear the case as he was a Parliamentary Secretary holding charge of the Local Bodies department that had jurisdiction over all Improvement Trusts.

Capt Singh also claimed that the two Congress members on the Committee-Randeep Singh Nabha and Sher Singh Gaggowal had given a note of dissent, questioning the right of the Committee to hear a sub judice case.

UNI HS VN1714

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