In a relief for Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday stayed the proceedings of a complaint pending against Badal in a lower court in Chandigarh.
The lower Court had summoned Badal to appear before it on June 11 in a Rs 2.1-crore recovery suit filed against him and the Punjab government. Aggrieved,Badal had moved the High Court against the lower court order and summons.
On April 22,a local court has issued fresh summons to Badal and others in an ongoing suit for damages to the tune of Rs 2.1 crore for malicious prosecution,filed by a former Punjab additional director (Information and Public Relations) Jagdip Singh Chowhan. The fresh summons were issued after the summons issued on March 14 could not be served to Badal and several bureaucrats of the state.
Chowhan had restarted a suit for damages filed by him on August 6,2003 against the Punjab CM and other bureaucrats of the state. As per the case,Chowhan had filed a Rs 2.1 crore recovery suit for malicious prosecution against government of Punjab.
The top brass named in the case had lodged an FIR in the Police Station Vigilance Bureau at Mohali against JS Chowhan. The case remained sine die for about a decade in a local court for leading evidence of prosecution by Chowhan,as per Chowhan.
The case dates back to 1998 when the government had decided to produce a film The Khalsa,showing the formation of the Khalsa Panth. Chowhan said he was looking after the film division section of the public relations department. He claimed to have been falsely implicated by the Vigilance Bureau in 2000 on the grounds that he favored the producer of the film,Mangal Dhillon,and received pecuniary benefits from him and caused a loss to the state.
However,the court of Ropar district and session judge acquitted Chowhan without framing charges on June 21,2002. Chowhan then filed the defamation and damages suit against Punjab,Badal and others amounting to over Rs 2 crore.