Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that he had no interest or concern with the cable business in Punjab.
His response came on a petition filed by the cable operators from Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Moga and Sangrur, who had alleged harassment by authorities and sought a CBI probe into the operation of cable business in the state.
“It is denied that respondent no 10 company (Fastway) belongs to the answering respondent (Sukhbir) and that the same is run through his frontman respondent no 12 (Gurdeep Singh). It is emphasised that answering respondent has no concern and interest in the said cable business in any manner,” Sukhbir told the court, further denying his role in the FIRs being registered against the cable operators.
The petitioners had approached the high court, alleging that by misusing the police and political power, they were being implicated in false FIRs and being pressed by Fastway officials and workers to withdraw a case filed by them over cable operation dispute before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), New Delhi. The TDSAT had ordered in operators’ favour and stayed the instructions by Fastway.
When the petitioners refused to withdraw the case, Fastway had started getting false cases registered against them, they alleged. It was further alleged that the company “belonged” to Sukhbir Badal and Gurdeep Singh was a mere “frontman” for him and due to political pressure, the authorities were not hearing the grievances of the operators. Following this, the high court had sought response from Sukhbir and Gurdeep among others. The matter has been posted for further hearing on March 16.
Meanwhile, an application was filed by the petitioners, wherein it was alleged that Fastway had been registered with the ministry of information and broadcasting for operating as multi system operator (MSO) in digital addressable system in the cities of Ludhiana and Amritsar only, but it was operating as MSO in the entire state.