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‘Highly confidential’ Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report leaked

The “highly confidential” Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report leaked. Hindustan Times has a copy of the 192-page document.

punjab Updated: Aug 14, 2018 22:18 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Justice Ranjit Singh Commission,Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report,sacrilege cases
The panel was tasked to probe the cases of sacrilege as well as a firing incident in Faridkot in which two Sikh protesters were killed.(HT File )

Touted as a ‘highly confidential’ official document, Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission report on the sacrilege cases has been leaked even before the Punjab government could table it in the assembly session expected to be held next month.

Nothing confidential about Justice Ranjit Singh report, you can read it here:

The leakage of the much-hyped report, already reported in a section of media in bits and pieces, is set to embarrass the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, which had planned to politically milk the “ explosive” report in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha session.

It has virtually thrown a spanner in the Congress strategy to corner the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal, which has been roundly blamed for a string of incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in 2016 that had rocked then SAD-BJP government led by Parkash Singh Badal. The ruling Congress may now have to rethink its strategy.

The Amarinder government had set up the one-man commission under Justice Ranjit Singh, a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in April last year. The panel was tasked to probe the cases of sacrilege as well as a firing incident in Faridkot in which two Sikh protesters were killed.

Even as the government is yet to set the date for the assembly session, some parts of the report, ostensibly kept under the tight wraps of chief minister’s office and home department, have trickled out through “selective leaks” in the past two weeks.

Since June 30 when Justice Ranjit Singh personally submitted the report to chief minister Amarinder Singh, both have consistently skirted the media queries on the findings with a stock answer: “The report is highly confidential”.

Earlier, emphasising upon the top secret nature of the report, Justice Singh had told mediapersons that he had got it typed privately as he didn’t trust government officials.

But, now the entire report has been leaked. Hindustan Times has a copy of the 192-page document.

Apart from raising questions on the safekeeping of the report that was supposed to be first tabled before the state legislature along with an action taken report ( ATR), the all-out leak has political implications. Not only will it lend the opposition firepower to target the government over the credibility of the report, it gives Akalis ample time to chalk out their counter strategy in the assembly.

Clearly left red-faced, a section of senior Congress ministers are now wondering as to what the government would table in Vidha Sabha when there is nothing confidential about the report any more. “This ( full leak) takes the sting out of our strategy” admits a cabinet minister on the condition of anonymity.

In fact, Akalis are already gunning for the panel and have dubbed it the “friendly commission” of chief minister. “It’s a highly biased report. Justice Ranjit Singh has written what his friend Captain Amarinder Singh wanted him to write,” says SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.

To buttress their charge, Akalis also cite Ranjit Singh’s relationship with rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sukhpal Khaira. The Bholath MLA is the real brother-in-law of Ranjit Singh.

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 16:33 IST