Hand over Punjab minister’s ‘sexual misconduct’ case to CBI, says Congress

Chandigarh, June 2 (IANS) After Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit asked the AAP government to oust the tainted minister Lal Chand Kataruchak from the Cabinet, Punjab’s Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa on Friday accused Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for shielding the minister, who had been facing charges of sexual misconduct.

Bajwa also wrote a letter to the Governor seeking his intervention in handing over the case to the CBI for fair action to maintain the probity expected from representatives of the people holding constitutional posts.

In the letter, the Opposition leader also urged the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court to take suo motu cognisance and hand over the case to the CBI.

Bajwa said the report of the forensic probe that was asked by the Governor stated that the video of sexual misconduct was not morphed. Now he had termed the crime committed by Kataruchak as “heinous” in nature.

“As anticipated, the AAP government is trying to pressurise the victim to withdraw his video statement and complaint to the National Commission for Scheduled Caste. False cases are being registered against those, who have been coming in support of the victim. The AAP government is leaving no stone unturned to harass the victim and his family,” Bajwa added.

He said there was no point in forming a Special Investigating Team (SIT) when the forensic probe of the video had already been performed and the victim had openly blamed the minister. The sole motive behind forming the SIT was to put the issue on the backburner, he alleged.

“The AAP government in Punjab has apparently crossed all limits of brazenness to protect Kataruchak. What example Chief Minister Mann is trying to set by shielding a minister, who has indulged in such a nasty crime,” Bajwa added.

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