The hearing in a 12-year-old recovery suit against Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday was adjourned to May 28 on the grounds that an appeal challenging the dismissal of the plea of recording statements outside district courts was pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Former additional director, Punjab information and public relations department, Jagdip Singh Chowhan, had filed a recovery suit against the CM and deputy CM way back in 2001.
Chowhan had filed a recovery suit in November 2001, saying he had spent Rs. 2.32 lakh from his pocket during the two Lok Sabha elections in 1998 and 1999 and a by-election in 1999, after being directed by Parkash Singh Badal, who was the CM then, to do so. He also told the court that he was asked to spend this money on activities such as arranging hospitality for mediapersons and issuing advertisements on behalf of SAD to help Sukhbir Badal, who fought the two elections from Faridkot. However, keeping the constraints of court fee in mind, Chowhan had filed the suit for recovery of only Rs. 82,032.
The CM and deputy CM had moved an application on December 18, 2012, urging the court to appoint a local commissioner for recording their evidence as witness and for cross examination at the residence of the chief minister or Punjab Civil Secretariat or Punjab Bhawan or UT guest house or the office of advocate general of Punjab, on the grounds that they move with their guards which could 'disturb' the normal working of the court as well as cause 'inconvenience' to the Public. Similarly, the other plea they have put forth before the court was 'mediapersons will also be attracted to the case'.
However, the plea was declined by the court in March 2013 and the duo was directed to appear in person on Tuesday, when Badals' counsel sought adjournment saying that the appeal against dismissal of their plea was pending before the high court.