SC tells Amarinder to wait till Oct 3 for hearing on interim relie

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will have to wait till October 3 when the Supreme Court will consider the issue whether to stay the Punjab State Assembly's expulsion order against him.

A bench, comprising Justices S B Sinha and Cyriac Joseph, however, issued notices on the three petitions to the Special Committee of Punjab State Assembly, Punjab Government, Speaker and Vigilance Bureau.

Capt Singh was expelled by the State Assembly for the remaining term of the Punjab State Assembly for his alleged involvement in the Amritsar Land Improvement Trust Scandal.

The apex court refused to stay the expulsion of the former Chief Minister and Congress MLA and told his counsel that the issue of interim relief would be considered by an appropriate bench on October 3.

Two others, who have filed petitions, are former Punjab local government minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh and former chairman of the trust Jugal Kishore Sharma.

The State Assembly in his resolution, dated September 10, had directed the Vigilance Bureau to register an FIR and complete the investigation within two months.

The resolution ordered the Vigilance Bureau to conduct investigation and subject the accused to custodial interrogation to find out where the money had been stashed away.

The resolution also requested the Election Commission to declare the seat of Capt Singh as vacant. It also said since the Assembly Secretariat did not have infrastructure to carry out the investigation into the allegations, the Vigilance Bureau was being up to carry out the investigation.

The State Assembly passed the resolution on the basis of the special committee report appointed by it.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had earlier declined to stay the State Assembly resolution expelling Capt Singh. They later approached the apex court.

The apex court, however, refused to implead the Election Commission in the case.

Capt Singh and the two others were represented by senior counsel U U Lalit, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and P P Rao.

The two-judge bench had earlier indicated that the matter should be heared by a larger bench of the three judges as an important constitutional question was involved.

Earlier, counsel for the petitioner submitted that majority had been used to settle the political score.

Capt Singh is also likely to file a petition seeking transfer of the case outside Punjab.

The land involved in the scandal running in crores of rupees is 32.10 acre.

UNI SC SW KN1319

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