Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday rejected Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa's allegation that the Advocate General's (AG) office had misled the state government and the Assembly on the sensitive and critical issue of withdrawal of Bargari sacrilege cases from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In a statement issued on Friday, Captain Amarinder dubbed Bajwa's statement to a section of the media as a case of either "ignorance or blatant mischief, and totally baseless".
The Chief Minister pointed out that the decision to withdraw the cases from the CBI was taken by the House on merit and was in line with the recommendations of the AG's office.
"His government had sought the advice of the AG before introducing a resolution in the House seeking withdrawal of the cases from the central agency in the interest of Punjab," he said.
However, he pointed out that the AG's recommendation or report was at no stage presented before the House, which took an independent decision, on merit, by consensus.
Bajwa, therefore, had no knowledge or information on what the AG had recommended, he said, adding that the MP's allegation was clearly unfounded and not based on any facts.
The MP had evidently not bothered to even study the judgement of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, which had upheld the legality of the state's decision to withdraw the cases from the CBI, Captain Amarinder said.
The High Court judgment dated January 25, 2018 had categorically upheld the legality of the action of the State in withdrawing the investigation by the State from the CBI and in fact had reposed faith in the SIT, the Chief Minister pointed out, noting that the CBI had not challenged this judgment.
Hence, no question arises now as regards the legality of the action, said the Chief Minister, flaying Bajwa's attempt to create mischief with his own misleading statement, clearly designed to mislead the people.
Calling Bajwa's statement "unfortunate", the Chief Minister said: "It was unfortunate that Bajwa had spoken on such a serious issue without taking into account the relevant facts and the legal position, which was clearly outlined in the High Court ruling."
He urged Bajwa and other leaders of all political hues to restrain themselves from misleading the people on this vital issue of state interest and having the potential to trigger unrest.
The state government, through the SIT, constituted to investigate the sacrilege cases, was moving forward aggressively to take the matter to its logical conclusion and ensure stringent punishment for the culprits, the Chief Minister added.
Mischievous comments like these would only hamper the interests of justice in the matter, he warned and exhorted the people not to be misled by such unsubstantiated statements.
( With inputs from ANI )