Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
A notification from the Registrar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court said that the letter dated August 25, 2003 from the Punjab Chief Minister to the Chief Justice, was accepted after consideration by the full court. However, the State Government has been asked to provide the necessary infrastructure for setting up these courts, which are to be set up at Patiala and Jalandhar.
While each court would be presided over by an Additional District and Sessions Judge and provided with the related staff, the annual financial implication of the decision would work out to be around Rs 25 lakhs. Addressing press persons earlier in the day, the Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, said that in case the High Court cleared his proposal to set up fast track special courts, the hearing of the case involving Mr. Badal and his family could come up for day-to-day hearing.
Capt. Singh disclosed that the State Government would approach the High Court for initiating the process of procuring a letter rogatory from the Union Government, to facilitate the acquisition, through official channel, the evidence of overseas properties of the Badal family. He said that the investigations so far had revealed the factual location of the properties, but a letter rogatory was required to gather official evidence to nail the Badals.
Responding to questions, the Chief Minister stressed that the State Government, through its own officers and with the help of official agencies and private detectives in different countries, had identified some of the stakes of the Badal family. He expressed confidence that the Vigilance Bureau would crack the overseas and `Benami' properties of the Badal family.
The Chief Minister said that the Vigilance had received co-operation in its probes as various countries had geared up to trace the routes of investments there, especially in the post-September 11 period. He added that the challan filed in Ropar court on Saturday was just the first, as more would follow as the ongoing investigations reached some conclusion.
Stressing that his government was committed to recover every rupee, which the Badals had allegedly plundered, Capt. Singh said that the assets worth Rs 4326 crores would go a long way in the development of Punjab. If Rs 1000 crores was spent on each department, the State would have 314 new hospitals, 400 Secondary schools, 7000 kms of new roads and 20,000 houses each worth Rs 5 lakhs for the Scheduled castes, he pointed out.
Referring to the recent statements of Mr. Badal and his son, Sukhbir Singh, the Chief Minister claimed that they had exhibited extreme desperation, especially after the failure of their Sunday's `Rasta Roko' protest.
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