A former contractual worker with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Gurcharan Singh, has been slapped a fine of Rs 68.09 lakh under the Public Defacement Act for installing 24 4x8ft advertisement boards of a religious function organised for celebrating the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Valmiki in October 2019.
The fine against Gurcharan, a driver with MC, was slapped on December 18. Before the fine was slapped, his services were terminated on December 12. The procession rally was held on October 13.
A senior MC officer said, “Gurcharan Singh was slapped a fine of Rs 68.09 lakh under the rules. Chandigarh roads are not anyone’s personal property. There is a set rule: MC permission is required before putting any banner and a fee has to be deposited. Members of our enforcement wing seized 24 advertisement boards of the size of 4×8 ft from different locations. These boards were put against the provisions of Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, 1954. A fine of Rs 68.09 lakh, including 18 per cent GST, was slapped. Indeed, Gurcharan Singh was fined but reasons behind his dismissal are different. He had been absent from his duty for a long time without informing his immediate seniors. He was an outsourced employee through a private company. We removed him from duty on the recommendation of area field supervisory staff. The orders were issued by MC Commissioner K K Yadav.”
Municipal Commissioner Yadav was not available for comment.
Gurcharan has been working with the MC since 2003. He is the chairman of Bhagwan Valmiki Shobha Yatra Organising Committee. He has a strong hold on a large section of fourth class MC employees. He is actively involved in union affairs.
Gurcharan has decided to approach the SC/ST Commission against the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. His advocate Satinder Singh said, “Fine of Rs 68 lakh against Gurcharan Singh is not justified. There was no advertisement on the banner. The boards were put up for a religious function. The MC has taken the decision of slapping the fine in a haste. The termination of Gurcharan Singh’s services can also be linked to the advertisement boards.”
Gurcharan, who resides at Phase-2 Industrial Area, said, “I was made a scapegoat. Why one individual is being targeted? The notice of fine should be issued to the entire organising committee.”
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