A day after his expulsion from the Punjab Assembly, Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday left for London after a Ludhiana court gave him permission to do so on medical grounds.
Before leaving, he moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court to quash the expulsion process against him even as the Vigilance Bureau registered an FIR against him and others who were recently indicted by a House Committee in connection with a land scam in Amritsar.
The case was registered on the direction of the Assembly, which had expelled Amarinder on the basis of the committee’s report, holding him and the others guilty of causing a loss of Rs 60 crore to the Amritsar Improvement Trust by allowing a private company to acquire 32.10 acres of the Trust's land.
In court, the former CM sought quashing of the process of his expulsion. After partial arguments, the court deferred the hearing for Friday.
The petition held that the Assembly's decision to expel Amarinder and recommend initiation of criminal proceedings against him was illegal and beyond its jurisdiction. His counsel Uday Salil said the House could take such a decision only in case of breach of privilege of the House, contempt of House or improper functioning as a member of the Assembly. Furthermore, he said, the House had held his client guilty without proper investigation.
A Vigilance Bureau officer said it had received a reference from the Assembly on Thursday, through the chief secretary, and the case was registered in Mohali. This is the third FIR registered by the Bureau against Amarinder since the SAD-BJP came to power. The earlier ones were in connection with the Ludhiana City Centre scam and a disproportionate assets case.
Reacting to the developments, CM Parkash Singh Badal rubbished allegations that his government was indulging in “political vendetta”.