Punjab education minister Sikander Singh Maluka has rubbished allegations that his driver used unfair means to obtain his matriculation certificate in March this year.
In town to launch the State Women Games, a combative minister trained his guns on former director general of school education Kahan Singh Pannu. "There are some people from my department assisting some reporters. They have formed a 'Pannu gang' against me," he claimed.
Punjab School Education Board is conducting an inquiry into the grant of the certificate to the driver, Mewa Singh, after reports suggested that someone else took the exams for him.
"I can guarantee that he (Mewa Singh) appeared in the examination and cleared it on his own. Any agency can look into the matter. I have no connection at all with the case. However, I am ready to bear any punishment if the driver is found guilty."
Maluka also defended the last minute change in the examination centre and said, "The examination centre was changed by submitting the required fee with the education department. There is no illegality."
On helping the driver build his house, he said: "If I have helped him in construction of his house, it is none of your business. I have constructed homes for other servants too. However, I did not give him any land. He bought the land in Dalit colony here."
On conducting an independent inquiry into the case, he said: "An inquiry can be conducted by any agency. The education department is looking into it. There are various means to conduct a probe, like checking handwriting etc. The news is fake. Some newspapers are after me."