The extended tenure of the Judicial Tribunal probing the alleged illegal properties in the citys periphery has come to an end. Its term concluded on July 13,following which the Tribunal stopped functioning. Significantly,no extension has been granted,as of now,by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Tribunal headed by Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh.
The Tribunal,earlier this week,had submitted its second interim report blaming the Punjab government of being a mute witness to the land grab scandal operating in citys periphery. The Tribunal had also indicted a former Director General of Police (DGP) of Punjab,P S Gill,and accused gram panchayats of actively colluding with land mafia to usurp shamlat land.
A division bench,earlier this week,had questioned the counsel for one of the members of the Tribunal about its term. It had apprised the Bench that the term had come to an end. In its orders,made available on Thursday,a Division Bench had taken the second interim report of the Tribunal on record. The court directed the high court registry to supply a copy to the office of advocate general of Punjab for requisite compliance.
The Bench has also requested Punjab Advocate General Ashok Aggarwal to request the Supreme Court to take up its (Punjab) appeal,wherein it had challenged the high court order for constituting the Judicial Tribunal. The High Court had ordered constitution of the Tribunal on May 29. Aggrieved,the state government had petitioned the apex court against the high court order. The appeal is hanging fire.
Passing these directions,the Bench has adjourned the case to second week of August. It is significant to mention here that there is no direction awarding extension to the three member Judicial Tribunal in the order. As per available information,members of the Tribunal met on July 12. Since then,no meeting or progress with regard to the investigation of illegal properties owned by influential people has taken place.
The Tribunal was given extension in March,after its term had ended. The high court had given a four-month extension to the Tribunal,comprising Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh,Advocate P N Aggarwal and Babu Ram Gupta,which ended on July 13.