With his appointment as the chairman of Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) coming under scanner of the Punjab and Haryana High Court,Moga MLA Joginderpal Jain has resigned from the post.
Punjab Advocate General (AG) Ashok Aggarwal conveyed this to the high court on Monday during the resumed hearing of a PIL filed by Advocate H C Arora seeking quashing of Jains appointment on the ground that his (Jain) antecedents were not taken into account while he was appointed as PSWC chairman. In this PIL,Arora had challenged Jains appointment on the ground that he was facing criminal cases for setting up unauthorised colony and charges have been framed against him.
The AGs efforts to persuade the court that the past antecedents,including Jain;s conviction about 20 years ago,did not amount to his disqualification from being appointed to the post,did not find favour with the bench.
Speaking on behalf of the bench,Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul told Aggarwal: First,you are the officer of this court,and then the officer of the government. Please appreciate that if he (Jain) is the only person available to you to be appointed to this post,then perhaps you may be right. But if there are some more persons available to you,one of who can be suitable for this post,then you should take a right decision.
Your decision should aspire confidence in the public. Also,please appreciate that the issue before us is a larger issue and not the issue of this particular individual. We hope you (your government) shall take a right decision… he added.
Jains counsel,on the other hand,referred to his track record as the chairman of the improvement trust and as MLA. To this,the court said: Your antecedents may be in knowledge of the general public,but that does not mean your client is the only person suitable for this post.
Following this,the AG requested to court to give the Punjab government two weeks to take a decision in regard to the legality of Jains appointment. The bench observed: We are not deciding the issue as to whether there was sufficient material before the appropriate authority regarding antecedents of Jain at time of consideration of his name for appointment as PSWHC chairman… We are confident that advocate general/appropriate authority shall arrive at appropriate decision. The PIL will now come up for hearing on September 16.