A day after Hindustan Times exposed how the Tarn Taran senior superintendent of police (SSP) had procured a fake certificate stating his death in a terrorist encounter, the Hoshiarpur deputy commissioner withdrew the document. An official of the deputy commissioner's office was also placed under suspension after an inquiry.
SSP Rajjit Singh Hundal's daughter had produced the certificate on Wednesday during counselling for admission to the MBBS course at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.
Hoshiarpur DC Varun Roojam confirmed that after an inquiry by the additional deputy commissioner, senior assistant Tarsem Singh had been suspended. "He was indicted in the inquiry report," said Roojam. Tarsem Singh was working in the relief and rehabilitation branch of the DC's office.
An order was issued by Roojam to SSP Hundal on Saturday, which read, "The certificate stands null and void ab initio (from the beginning) and you are directed to submit the issued certificate by Monday to the DC office, Hoshiarpur."
The DC's order further read, "According to the government letter of December 17, 2012, grandchildren of terror-affected persons can only get their names registered in red cards. To avail any reservation quota in the said institution, the applicant should be directly dependent of a terror-affected person."
The order said that this condition did not suffice in the case of SSP Hundal against whose name the certificate was issued.
On August 10, HT had exposed how Hundal had tried to get an MBBS seat for his daughter in the terrorist-affected quota by procuring a fake certificate stating that he had been killed in an encounter.
Matter very serious: home dept
In a separate development, the Punjab home department, which is the cadre-controlling authority of the SSP, confirmed that the matter was in its knowledge and the authorities concerned were looking into it. "It is a matter of a very serious nature. We will seek comments of the SSP on the issue very soon," said DS Bains, the Punjab home secretary. He confirmed that the home department would also write to the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences authorities to get more information on the issue.
In his defence, Tarn Taran SSP Hundal said, "I have presented the true facts about my family being a terrorist victim family and I have also mentioned that my daughter needs this certificate for her admission to the MBBS course. I have attached the sample certificate along with the application. This application is under my signatures. So I procured the certificate by genuine application, which I submitted to the Hoshiarpur DC."