The Election Commission's zero tolerance to code of conduct violations has led to the dismissal of naib tehsildar Charanjit Singh Brar, media coordinator and adviser to Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Brar has been dismissed from government service for indulging in political activities and remaining absent from duty since October 11, 2010.
The action was taken on a complaint lodged by People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Badal with the chief electoral officer (CEO), Punjab, on December 26. Manpreet had accused his one-time confidant Brar of canvassing for the SAD despite being a government employee. He had asked the CEO to ensure Brar's removal from Muktsar district to ensure free and fair elections.
Sources said Anurag Verma, commissioner, Jalandhar division, dismissed Brar on Saturday after the charges were proved during disciplinary proceedings.
Ironically, Brar had lobbied for his summary dismissal as naib tehsildar in February 2011.
"Last year, he had tried to use his good offices to get dismissed so that he could try his luck in politics," sources said.
For this, Brar had produced a complaint from Nawanshahr resident Hardeepak Singh about his political activities, duly supported with press clippings. These were submitted to then commissioner, Jalandhar division, SR Ladhar. Subsequently, Manpreet, too, had rung up Ladhar regarding his aide's dismissal.
Ladhar forwarded the complaint for initiating disciplinary action to financial commissioner revenue (FCR) AR Talwar on the plea that Brar was appointed OSD to then finance minister Manpreet Badal on the state government's orders, but the file was returned with the remark, 'take suitable action', as the divisional commissioner was the competent authority. Ladhar suspended Brar on May 12, 2011.
"On October 11, 2010, Brar moved an application seeking 18 months' 'earned' leave without mentioning any valid reason soon after Manpreet's resignation from the government. Though he was asked to explain the reason, he was yet to do so. He is wilfully absent from duty for the past nearly seven months," the suspension letter had said.
Brar was also accused of not joining as naib tehsildar (recovery) at Tarn Taran since April 5, 2011. Based on media reports, he was charged with participating in political activities.
Though he did not report at the designated headquarters during his suspension period, his decision to leave the PPP and join the SAD in July 2011 proved beneficial. The party appointed him media coordinator-cum-adviser to the SAD president in August. The SAD-BJP government had also revoked his suspension as naib tehsildar even though he remained absent from office.
When contacted, Brar said he was not aware of his dismissal, even as he claimed that he had already submitted his replies to the authorities concerned.