The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the disbursement of redetermined compensation to the family of Punjab minister Gurmeet Singh Rana Sodhi in the land acquisition pertaining to 2012.
The division bench of justices Augustine George Masih and Meenakshi I Mehta issued notice of motion to the Sodhi family and fixed the next hearing on May 19.
On February 2, the Punjab public works department (PWD) had filed a letter patents appeal (LPA), challenging the single bench order in the contempt petition filed by the minister’s brother Guru Hardeep Singh in 2018 for the implementation of the order of the Ferozepur additional district and sessions court to give redetermined compensation to the family under the new land acquisition law.
The February 9 HC order reads, “The disbursal of the amount to respondent Guru Hardeep Singh and others shall remain stayed till further orders.” During the LPA hearing on February 9, the state counsel for the PWD in HC said in compliance with the February 2 order, the redetermined amount was deposited with the Ferozepur additional district judge a day before.
The counsel submitted that the review application, alleging fraud played on the court, was filed on November 27, 2020, but the same has not come up for hearing in the Supreme Court.
“In the light of the fraud, the disbursement of the amount, in pursuance of the order passed by the single judge bench, be kept in abeyance,” the counsel demanded.
On February 2, principal secretary (PWD) Vikas Pratap submitted in the HC during the LPA hearing that he would be depositing the amount as re-determined by the collector within a week.
While hearing the contempt petition on December 17, the bench of justice Nirmaljit Kaur directed the state to deposit the re-determined compensation with the concerned court in a week and it be disbursed to the petitioner provided he furnished security of the “like amount”.
On January 12, the bench of justice Harinder Singh Sidhu again directed the state that the respondent (state) shall be bound to deposit the amount before the next date of hearing (February 18).
On December 29, the PWD had filed a recovery suit against minister Sodhi, alias Guru Gurmeet Singh and his brother Guru Hardeep Singh and nephews, Prabhjot Singh and Jasdeep Singh in the Guruharsahai court for pocketing double compensation against a piece of land acquired by the state government for a road project. One Joginder Singh has also been named in the petition.