Cong cries foul over new Punjab Lokpal

Amid allegations of it being a "political appointment" with a clear case of "conflict of interest", Justice (retd) Jai Singh Sekhon took oath as the new Lokpal of Punjab on Friday triggering a fresh round of protest from the Congress.

The Congress has been saying that for the sake of "moral and judicial propriety" Justice Sekhon should have declined to be the Punjab Lokpal as his brother Janmeja Singh Sekhon is a minister in the Punjab government.

State Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh in a letter to Governor Shivraj Patil, a copy of which was sent to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said, "A Lokpal is required to be an autonomous, independent-minded and politically uncoloured individual mandated and empowered by the provisions of The Punjab Lokpal Act,1996 to investigate and inquire into complaints of misconduct and corruption. There is a clear and patent conflict of interest between the personal life and familial affiliations of Justice Sekhon and his duties and functions as an independent and autonomous Lokpal."

"I am also given to understand that Justice Sekhon's wife is a close relative of the present Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal," he wrote. with PTI inputs

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