A day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar to placate him, the latter neither attended the government meeting nor cleared any official files.
Contrary to speculation that he was placated by the CM, Kumar was conspicuous by his absence during the Covid review meeting chaired by the CM. All eyes were on the meeting as Kumar’s presence would have conveyed a message that he had resumed work.
Kumar had resigned on Monday and had returned his official vehicle and relieved his personal staff.
Sources said while Kumar advised Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh on some government issues on Thursday, he did not sign or clear any file.
The CMO sent his official vehicle back to his Sector 16 residence but Kumar is learnt to have told the driver to leave as he did not need the vehicle.
As Kumar stays away, it is still uncertain whether he would resume office or not. It was being speculated that after meeting the CM, he would be back to work.
Kumar has been upset with the government for not defending his case strongly. Kumar’s appointment as CPS to CM has been challenged in the High Court. Kumar had brought on record in his resignation letter that he was unhappy as nobody was present in the High Court from the government’s side when his case came up for hearing on July 15.
It is also learnt that he had made it known to the CM that a relative of the complainant in his case was appointed a law officer by the legal department.
This showed quid pro quo of the legal department with the complainant. The legal department, however, does not agree with Kumar.
A spokesperson of the department said there was no deliberate delay in the case.
“During the last effective hearing, the matter was adjourned until February 21, 2020, which was then later declared as a public holiday by the High Court being Mahashivratri and hence had to be adjourned when the matter got auto-listed on February 24.”
Thereafter the state went into lockdown, the High Court was closed and only fresh urgent cases filed are being heard by the High Court through video conference. All such matters are being automatically adjourned from time to time by the Registry of the High Court without listing in the court.
He said that most of the adjournments in the matter have been taken by Ramandeep Singh (and not the State of Punjab) or taken up by arguments by the original petitoner on May 16, 2018, November 13, 2018, February 13, 2019.
The case was adjourned for paucity of time by the HC on July 11, 2018, October 16, 2018, January 10, 2019, and May 23, 2019.
“The only times when the State was required to seek an adjournment was on 26.03.19 for filing of a reply to an application filed and then on 17.04.18 and 23.05.19 for non-availability of P Chidambaram.”
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