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Friday, September 18, 2020

Punjab govt explores compassionate grounds for job to minister’s son-in-law

Gursher Singh is now married to Revenue Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar’s daughter.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | August 11, 2020 12:50:41 pm
Will challenge Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill in court: Punjab CM“Riding roughshod over the farmers' concerns, the central government, of which the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is a constituent, has imposed a central law on a state subject, thus eroding the federal structure of the country. We will challenge it in court,” Amarinder said in a statement.

Can a person be appointed on compassionate grounds more than 18 years after his government official father blew the whistle on a scam and later died in harness? This is one question that is being examined by the Punjab government after a Cabinet minister recommended appointing Gursher Singh as Excise and Taxation Inspector, the post that latter’s father Bhupjit Singh was holding when he turned a whistle-blower in the infamous Ravi Sidhu cash-for-job-scam.

Gursher Singh is now married to Revenue Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar’s daughter. Kangar has requested Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that Gursher should be employed as Excise and Taxation Inspector on compassionate grounds.

The government is now examining the case on the plea that Gursher “deserved” the job as his father was a whistle-blower in the Ravi Sidhu scam. Sidhu, the then chairman of Punjab Public Service Commission, was caught red handed while taking a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from Bhupjit Singh on March 25, 2002.

The cash-for-jobs scam had hit headlines soon after Amarinder became the CM of the state for the first time in 2002. Sidhu was later convicted.

Sources in the government said that Kangar has made the request now when when the government has completed more than half of its term. “I have requested the Chief Minister. If the rules allow, he should be given a job. Let us see what the CM decides. We will accept his verdict. If my son-in-law gets a government job it will be good,” Kangar told The Indian Express.

A functionary of the government said that nothing could be said at this juncture. But, he said, after SAD-BJP came back to power in 2007, Bhupjit was harassed for having become an approver in Sidhu case.

“Sidhu was convicted by the court eventually. Bhupjit was, however, harassed so much that he suffered a heart attack at a time when he had several years to go for retirement. He was a whistle-blower. He was a man of integrity. His son deserved a job on compassionate grounds but the Akali government offered him a clerical job. If somebody deserves to be an Inspector, why should he be given a clerical job? We have no proposal as such but we are checking if he is eligible for the job of an inspector,” said the functionary.

A former journalist, Ravi Sidhu was appointed PPSC chairman by the Congress government led by Harcharan Singh Brar in 1996. He was arrested by Punjab Vigilance Bureau soon after Amarinder Singh took over.

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