Panel raps Mohali police for ‘coercing’ NRI

The Punjab State Commission for NRIs has slammed the Mohali police for "coercing" an NRI to enter into a contract which is disadvantageous to him.

Observing that such misconduct by the police will act as a "deterrent for foreign investment" in the state, the commission has directed the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to take "appropriate action" within three weeks.

Directions have been passed by the commission comprising Justice Arvind Kumar (retd), chairperson, and S Chattopadhyaya, ADGP-cum-member of the commission, on a complaint filed by Aditya Khindaria, a US citizen, an NRI.

In a scathing order, the commission has held "the act & conduct of Punjab Police does not give a good reflection on Punjab and could act as a deterrent for foreign investment in the State".

Reminding the police force about its duties, the commission has held "there is an obligation of the State to ensure a Rule of Law through its institutions. The primary institute on which the State relies for the maintenance of Law & Order is the police. Therefore, the police force ought to be fast, fair, honest, transparent and more accountable. NRI affairs is the priority of the Punjab government. No doubt, mediation and conciliation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is quite prevalent in India wherein the parties rely on such system but can't be thrusted upon a party, like the one in the present complaint, which is nothing, but prima facie a coercion".

In his complaint, the NRI has submitted that he is a chairman of Kare Partners Group India (Pvt) Ltd (KPGI), engaged in the business of healthcare. His company, in order to promote its business interest in India, acquired 51% stake in Kamesh Bharghav Hospital & Research Centre Pvt Ltd, known as "Silver Oaks" Hospital.

Advocate Navkiran Singh, counsel for the complainant, submitted that an agreement was signed between the complainant and three doctors. Aditya made a payment of Rs 26 crore out of the total Rs 52 crore and became a majority share holder. However, at the meeting of Board of Directors held on February 29 this year and after the resignation of two doctors, the complainant and two others were taken as directors.

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