Deputy commissioner and district returning officer HS Pabla has ordered an inquiry against former minister and senior Congress leader Gurchet Singh Bhullar for allegedly having enrolled his three Punjab Police gunmen and three Nepali servants as voters from his ancestral village, Mehmoodpura, in Khemkaran assembly constituency.
The inquiry has been ordered on the directions of the office of the Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). Tarn Taran sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) will conduct the inquiry.
We received the communique from the office of the CEO and have ordered the inquiry. The report will be submitted in 15 days from the receipt of the communique to the office of the CEO in Chandigarh. The inquiry officer will scrutinise the electoral records, verify the facts and will submit the report thereafter," Pabla told HT here on Wednesday.
The inquiry by the office of the CEO was ordered following a written complaint lodged by former Congress leader and former vice-chairperson of Punjab Infotech, Tejpreet Singh Peter, a resident and voter of Bhikhiwind in Khemkaran constituency. Bhullar had contested as the Congress candidate from Khemkaran in the January assembly polls last year. He had lost to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) nominee Virsa Singh Valtoha.
Complaint to CEO.
In his complaint filed along with the voter list of Mehmoodpura village, Peter claimed that Bhullar had got enrolled three of his Punjab Police gunmen as voters from Mehmoodpura, when they did not belong to the village. The three were registered as voters in the same booth in which Bhullar and his family were registered.
The gunmen identified in the complaint are Gurjit Singh, Satnam Singh and Balkar Singh. The former Congress leader claimed that all three were also registered as voters in their respective villages where their families lived.
Similarly, the three domestic servants of Bhullar, all of whom belong to Nepal, were also allegedly registered voters of Mehmoodpura. The three identified in the complaint are Shankar, Dev and Mamata. The complainant has pointed out that all three servants despite not being Indian citizens were registered as voters on the directions of Bhullar to "derive electoral benefit in the elections".
In the complaint, Peter has demanded that Bhullar along with his politically active sons, Anoop Singh and Sukhpal Singh, be booked for committing fraud and forgery under sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.
He has also demanded that the three be booked for violating provision of the Representation of People's Act as they had forced the gunmen and the servants to give false undertakings while enrolling themselves as voters.
"The misdeeds of the Bhullars amount to mockery of the Representation of People's Act. They should be debarred from contesting any democratic election in future," the complainant stated in his representation to the CEO's office.