The Pathankot Town Improvement Trust's decision of spending around Rs 50 lakh on a statue of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, has come under the scanner of the Punjab and Haryana high court, which directed Punjab's advocate general to produce the relevant records of the trust on the next date of hearing, November 27.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on a public interest litigation filed by Pathankot-based journalist Surinder Mahajan seeking a thorough investigation into the case.
The petitioner alleged that the statue had been purchased by the trust in a dubious and non-transparent manner as no public notice inviting tenders was published in newspapers and quotations were invited only from three dealers by addressing a common letter to them.
It was informed that in 2009, the trust bought the statue from Noida (Uttar Pradesh)-based firm Ramsutra Fine Arts Pvt Ltd by paying the entire amount just on the basis of the quotation supplied by the firm, thus giving undue benefit. However, as per information received under the RTI Act, till date the trust has not received the payment bill, it was informed.