Saturday, November 18, 2017

Punjab fined Rs 5 lakh for wrongly deboarding NRI from London flight

Chandigarh: The Punjab government will have to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to an NRI for wrongly identifying him as an accused in the Rs 1,000-crore irrigation scam and forcing him to disembark a flight to the UK.
Ludhiana resident Gurdev Singh's only crime was that one of the accused in the scam has the same name - Gurdev Singh Syan. When the case reached the Punjab and Haryana high court, it directed the chief secretary to tender an unconditional apology to the NRI, along with the demand draft of Rs 5 lakh and the air fare from Delhi to the UK. The court also directed the government to recover the amount from the vigilance bureau officials responsible for such a goof-up and to take action against them for "damaging the image of Punjab".
"The record clearly shows the cavalier manner in which the government servants have performed their work; namely lack of sincerity, casual attitude and having no regard for the image of the state of Punjab and also for the country," the judge observed.
The only interest such government servants have is to pocket huge salary every month and go on making demands for higher and higher salary and allowances", observed Justice A B Chaudhari, in his detailed order. Justice Chaudhari passed these orders while disposing of an application filed by Punjab government through Ashish Kapoor, AIG vigilance bureau, seeking an apology about the goof-up.
It was on November 2 that the Punjab advocate general (AG), Atul Nanda requested Justice Chaudhari at this residence to urgently give an order preventing Gurdev Singh from leaving the country. Immigration officials had detained him at the Delhi international airport on the basis of a lookout notice just before he was to board a Delhi-London flight, assuming that he was the scam accused.
18/11/17 Ajay Sura/Times of India