The Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes has decided to set up a high-level committee to probe allegations against Congress MLA from Bhadaur (reserved) assembly segment and noted Punjabi singer Mohammed Sadique about obtaining an SC certificate in violation of the norms.
Badal Singh of Pakhon Kalan village in Barnala had moved the commission against the MLA, alleging that the latter obtained the certificate despite being a Muslim.
Rajesh Bagha, commission chairman, said a full commission meeting would be held soon to deliberate upon the issue and constitute a committee headed by a senior IAS officer to probe the charges against Sadique.
"The committee will be asked to submit a report at the earliest. The commission, using its civil court powers, will recommend to the state government to initiate legal action in this case, if required," Bagha said.
The commission, during its March 26 meeting, has also asked the Ludhiana deputy commissioner (DC) to submit a copy of the file pertaining to the issuance of an SC certificate to Sadique by the tehsildar of Ludhiana (West) on May 25, 2006.
Sadique, in his application, had claimed that he belonged to the Doom community, a Scheduled Caste duly notified by the Punjab government. The DC had submitted Sadique's records to the commission.
TR Sarangal, then secretary of welfare department, in a demi-official letter to Vikas Garg, then Ludhiana DC, on March 16, 2009, had clarified that only those Doom community applicants who followed Sikh, Hindu or Bodh religions were eligible for the SC certificate.
SAD candidate DS Guru challenged Sadique's election in the high court on March 30. Guru alleged that a voter had filed an objection in this regard before the returning officer who refused to consider it, citing delay. Guru had urged the high court to order fresh elections from the constituency.
Sadique refuted the allegations. "My mother's name is Promini Devi. I will contest the case and justice will finally prevail. My opponents are trying to tarnish my image," he said.