AAP leader Phoolka flip flop on demand
Just about three days before the expiry of deadline set up by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka for stepping down as an MLA in case the former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was not booked in sacrilege and related firing cases, the advocate-turned-politician on Thursday refused to go ahead with his decision.
Phoolka adjourned the decision making process till September 20 when the petition filed in the sacrilege matter by Punjab’s three former cops, seeking quashing of Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, would be taken up for the next hearing by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
High Court on Thursday stayed further proceedings against the former Senior Superintendents of Police Charanjit Singh and Raghbir Singh Sandhu, along with the then Station House Officer of Bajakhana police station Amarjit Singh “in pursuance of recommendations made by Justice Ranjit Singh Commission”.
Using the High Court case as a ground for not going ahead with his decision, AAP MLA Phoolka said that nothing much could be done by the Government now as the case is now under the judicial scanner.
At the same time, Phoolka used the development too again launch an attack on the government. He said that the case was not defended properly by the government lawyers.
Phoolka’s assertions comes at a time when the High Court has given the state of Punjab time till September 20 to respond to the legal issues raised in the petition filed by two former SSPs and an ex-SHO.
After the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report into all the sacrilege cases and related firing incidents was tabled in Punjab Vidhan Sabha and thoroughly discussed, Phoolka demanded registration of cases against Badal and the then Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini for allegedly ordering firing on peaceful protesters that killed two.
He announced to step down as the MLA if the Congress-led Punjab Government failed to act against or book those indicted in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission's inquiry report on sacrilege cases and related firing incidents, including Badal, while giving an ultimatum ending on September 15.
“I will announce my next course of action after September 20,” said Phoolka adding that the issue would now be dragged because of Punjab Government’s incompetence. “Government lawyers have failed to present their case properly. Now with the matter being under judicial scanner, nit much could be done in this. Thus, I have decided to defer my decision till September 20, the next date of hearing in the matter,” said Phoolka.
Reiterating, Phoolka said that cases be registered against the former Chief Minister Badal and the then DGP Saini. “If Capt Amarinder Singh’s government could not interrogate them, it is amply clear that they did not want to act against them,” he added.
Phoolka’s decision to defer his resignation also assumes significance as he had repeatedly refused to accept the pleas by his party colleagues and the high command for not going ahead with his 15-day ultimatum.
AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also requested Phoolka for not resigning as an MLA, but the Dakha legislator had made it clear that he stand by his deadline.