Mohali mayor drags Punjab govt to court over notice
The local bodies department had issued the notice for removal of Kulwant as councillor in regard to the purchase of the pruning machine at Rs 1.79 crore. He was given seven days to respond.punjab Updated: Jan 12, 2018 10:31 IST
Mohali mayor and real estate tycoon Kulwant Singh has dragged the Punjab government to court over a show-cause notice for his removal sent to him on January 5, over alleged misuse of government money for purchase of a tree-pruning machine by the municipal corporation.
The Punjab and Haryana high court bench of justice Daya Chaudhary will take up the petition filed by Kulwant on Friday. It is learnt the mayor, who belongs to the opposition party SAD in Punjab, has termed the Congress government’s action “politically motivated” and an act to “defame” him.
The local bodies department had issued the notice for removal of Kulwant as councillor in regard to the purchase of the pruning machine at Rs 1.79 crore. He was given seven days to respond.
The government said an inquiry found that the corporation in February 2016 passed a resolution to buy a pruning machine priced at Rs 28 lakh in India and Rs 80 lakh abroad, at an exorbitant price of Rs 1.79 crore. However, Kulwant has maintained the tractor alone costs Rs 28 lakh, while the main machine is worth Rs 88 lakh. Other components such as mowing head is of Rs 18 lakh, washing unit of ₹16 lakh and there is an additional component of excise duty of Rs 58 lakh, which the MC can claim from the government.
Kulwant was also backed by the MC House, where a condemnation motion was passed with 24 councillors voting in favour out of total 37.
It is learnt that the mayor has argued for quashing of the notice and also stated that the state government is deliberately sitting over proposals of development works in Mohali, to cripple the local SAD dispensation.
It is also learnt that the mayor has questioned the manner in which the notice was issued. Even before the mayor got the notice, a statement was issued by the government about his removal to bring him down in the eyes of the public, he is learnt to have argued, seeking stay on the notice.