The Finance Minister said the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance ruled the state several times but despite the fact that state has more than 34 per cent population belonging to the Scheduled Castes categories, no government made reservations for lawyers belonging to SC category while appointing Law Officers.
Facing judicial rap for its decision to dissolve gram panchayats in Punjab, the Bhagwant Mann Government on Thursday announced withdrawal of the notification for the same and suspended two senior IAS officers for the goof-up.
As per the orders issued in this regard by Chief Secretary Anurag Verma, principal secretary, water supply and sanitation and financial commissioner, rural development and panchayats, Dhirendra Kumar Tiwari and director of rural development and panchayats Gurpreet Singh Khaira have been placed under suspension with immediate effect.
This was hours after Punjab Advocate General Vinod Ghai, appearing before the Bench led by Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha, said the notification on dissolution of the panchayats in the state would be withdrawn in the next couple of days.
During the earlier hearing of the case, the government had earlier defended its decision and said the notification to dissolve gram panchayats was aligned with constitutional provisions.
The government had said Rs 1,000 crore was there in the bank accounts of gram panchayats and there was a “reasonable apprehension that this precious public money can be misutilised or unnecessarily utilised to lure residents of the village for personal gain” by elected panchayat representatives. Hence, in public interest, charge of the same was taken and would be handed over to the newly elected panchayats for developmental activities, the government had said.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, however, took a strong stand against the Punjab government for dissolving panchayats before the completion of their term and taking back rights from the elected representatives of the people without any reason.