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Monday, December 06, 2021

Sidhu has his way, Punjab government appoints Patwalia as new AG

Sidhu wanted Deol removed as AG for having represented former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in cases related to the 2015 police firing incidents after the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
November 19, 2021 11:33:49 pm
Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Cabinet, DS Patwalia, Charanjit Singh Channi, Punjab politics, A P S Deol, Punjab AG, Punjab DGP, Indian ExpressPunjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. (File)

The Punjab government Friday appointed Senior Advocate DS Patwalia as the new Advocate General, giving in to the demand raised by state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Patwalia’s appointment as the state’s top law officer comes days after Punjab Cabinet accepted the resignation of senior advocate APS Deol, who had to put in his papers in the face of strong pressure exerted by Sidhu.

“The Governor of Punjab in exercise of power conferred under Article 165 of the Constitution of India is pleased to appoint Deepinder Singh Patwalia, senior advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, as advocate general for the state of Punjab with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” according to an official order.

Sidhu wanted Deol removed as AG for having represented former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in cases related to the 2015 police firing incidents after the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib. Sidhu even stepped down as the Punjab Congress chief on September 28 over the appointments of Deol as AG and IPS Sahota as the director general of police. Later, Sidhu withdrew his resignation but with a precondition that he would resume the charge the day a new AG was appointed and a panel for the appointment of a new DGP came from the UPSC.

Interestingly, Patwalia’s appointment was cleared soon after Charanjit Singh Channi took over as chief minister. However, it was learnt that the Congress high command intervened and blocked the appointment on the plea that his brother was a solicitor general at Centre. Later, Deol was appointed.

Patwalia was the lawyer of Sidhu’s chief strategic adviser and retired IPS officer Mohd Mustafa, who had challenged the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as Punjab Police chief and gone against then CM Capt Amarinder Singh.

A Chandigarh resident, Patwalia is the son of Justice Kuldeep Singh, who retired from Supreme Court, and Gurminder Kaur, who retired as principal, Government College For Women, Mohali. He did his early schooling from St Johns High School of Chandigarh and Delhi Public School, New Delhi. He graduated in 1995 from St Stephens College, New Delhi, and later obtained LLB degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1998. He was designated as Senior Advocate on May 28, 2014.

Patwalia had been practising in the Supreme Court, and the high courts of Punjab & Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. He had also been plying his trade at forums and tribunals.

As an advocate, Patwalia specialized in cyber laws and intellectual property rights service matters including cases for transfers, pension, promotions, salaries, and other matter including criminal and civil in nature.

Patwalia had also been Standing Counsel and Legal Adviser for Punjab Pollution Control Board, and counsel for GNDU, Amritsar, and other Punjab departments.

He was on the panel of the official liquidator attached with the Punjab & Haryana HC. Patwalia also represented the Income Tax department before the Punjab & Haryana HC in tax matters, criminal and company cases and other related matter. He has remained counsel and legal advisor for various private companies.

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