Ludhiana: One out of two cheques dishonoured, Chatly cries foul

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Published on Dec 31, 2019 10:24 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By, Ludhiana

Building sealing row

 The controversy over sealing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kamal Chatly’s building has again triggered a row after Chatly stopped the bank from honouring a cheque worth 3 lakh issued in the name of municipal corporation (MC) as change of land use (CLU) fee. 

While mayor Balkar Sandhu said the MC would initiate legal action against Chatly over dishonoured cheque, the BJP leader said he would move court as the cheque was “wrongly” submitted by the civic body after his (Chatly’s) staffers left the same at their (MC’s) office. 

After the civic body had sealed Chatly's building earlier this month, a controversy had erupted with leaders of both the Congress and the BJP entering into a scuffle at mayor’s office when the district BJP unit went to protest against the sealing drive.

The BJP had claimed that CLU fee cannot be imposed on buildings. The building was, however, sealed after Chatly reportedly spoke against cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in the alleged Ludhiana CLU scam. Mayor Balkar Sandhu said that Chatly had failed to deposit 35 lakh as CLU charges. 

After this, Chatly agreed to give 3.53 lakh to MC as partial payment till the time the dispute was resolved. But when his staffers went to submit the cheque of 3.53 lakh at the MC office, they left another signed cheque of 3 lakh at the MC office “by mistake”.

“Despite my request to not to submit that cheque, MC officials did the same,” Chatly said, while adding that he had asked the bank authorities to stop the payment. 

Mayor Balkar Sandhu said that the civic body would initiate legal proceedings against Chatly as per the norms as a cheque issued in the name of MC was dishonoured. 

Chatly, however, said that if MC initiated legal action against him, then he would also move court. “I had told the officials that the cheque was left at the MC office by mistake and they also assured that the 3-lakh cheque would not be encashed,” he added.

Matter echoes in House

The issue of Chatly’s building was also raised during the meeting of MC’s general house. Congress councillor Pankaj Kaka and LIP councillor Swarandeep Chahal said that apart from taking action against Chatly over the dishonoured cheque, officials who accepted cheques should also be taken to task. The councillors said it was the against the norms to accept cheques and the officials should have asked for a demand draft. Surprisingly, no BJP councillor raised any objection against the demand during the House proceedings.

MC commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar directed municipal town planner (MTP) Monica Anand to take required action against Chatly and the officials concerned.

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