Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday urged Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore not to give approval to the appointment of Justice (retd) Mehtab Singh Gill as Lokpal, saying he did not meet the constitutional, political and moral qualifications needed to become eligible for the august post.
A joint SAD-BJP delegation led by Sukhbir Singh Badal and Parveen Bansal submitted a memorandum to the Governor alleging Justice Gill had close association with the Congress party as well as Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
The delegation alleged Justice Gill abused power as head of a commission of inquiry formed by the Congress government and he had a tainted record as judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The delegation accused Justice Gill of using his influence on former Punjab Public Service Commission chairman Ravi Sidhu to get government jobs for his kin.
The delegation stressed that the Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman should be a man of impeccable character to represent public interest and not private interest.
The SAD-BJP team also arugued its case that Justice Gill be barred from holding the august post as the Punjab Lokpal Act (1996) stated that Lokpal shall not be connected with any political party.
Briefing the Governor, Badal informed that Justice Gill wore his allegiance to the Congress party on his sleeve. He said the judge had provided his residence in Charik village in Moga to then Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh during the 2013 Moga by-election for use as Amarinder’s residence cum camp office.
“During the run up to the 2017 Assembly elections, Amarinder appointed Justice Gill to a committee which was assigned with preparing the blueprint for the Congress party’s election manifesto,” he added.
Detailing Justice Gill’s role as head of Commission of Inquiry to look into alleged false cases, the delegation members said the retired judge had brazenly misused his powers and transgressed into the jurisdiction of investigation agencies and courts by arbitrarily cancelling FIRs purely based on his proximity with the Congress government.
They said Justice Gill had thus followed the whip, command and dictate of the Congress government as head of the Commission of Inquiry.