Former Haryana minister Sampat Singh has filed a police complaint against the state Assembly speaker for allegedly allowing disbursal of honorarium of around Rs 16 lakh to some of the House employees in demonetised currency notes, three days after the note ban. However, a senior Assembly official today tried to explain that there was no illegality involved, nor was there any such intention.
Sampat Singh, who had also served as the state’s Finance Minister, has lodged a complaint at Sector-3 police station here on Tuesday seeking a case against the speaker Kanwar Pal Singh Gurjar, and the Assembly’s three officers. Singh has alleged that it was illegal for anyone to pay in demonetised currency notes once they were scrapped by the government.
He has alleged that an offence has been committed by knowingly and deliberately violating the instructions of demonetisation and circulating the banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 even after demonetisation was announced.
Subhash Sharma, secretary to the Speaker, said that a state-level function was organised in Panchkula in first week of November last year, as part of golden jubilee celebrations of the Assembly and all MLAs including some former ministers were invited. “As per the scheduled programme, former MLAs were to be given Rs 11,000 each for travel to Panchkula and stay in the town. A sum of Rs 33.22 lakh was drawn from the state exchequer for the purpose.
“While over Rs 16 lakh was given to former MLAs, an amount of Rs 16.72 lakh remained unspent because some MLAs did not turn up for the event, while others refused to accept the money.
“There was no way the assembly could have deposited the unspent amount in its account and it would have gone back to the government’s revenue head. Even if the unspent amount was deposited with the state exchequer, the expenditure from the Vidhan Sabha account would have been deemed to be Rs 33.22 lakh and not just over Rs 16 lakh,” he said.
“When we gave budget details, there was no way we could have adjusted the unspent amount. Moreover, the ex MLAs and others later willingly accepted to deposit this amount into their bank accounts as there was a window of few weeks available from the government side to do so. There was no illegality involved nor was there any intention to do so,” he said.
When asked if had they sought any legal opinion before disbursing the amount, Sharma said it was “verbally sought from concerned quarters”. A police official at Sector-3 here said the complaint was being examined.