Chi­dambaram flies out in state chop­per, cour­tesy the AG!

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Htpunjab - Sukhdeep Kaur sukhdeep.kaur@hin­dus­tan­ ■

CHANDI­GARH: The Congress govern­ment on Wed­nes­day rolled out the red car­pet for Supreme Court lawyer and the party’s for­mer Union min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram, who was here to ap­pear for the state against a sin­gle bench rul­ing of the Pun­jab and Haryana high court quash­ing the ap­pointment of re­tired bu­reau­crat Suresh Ku­mar as the chief min­is­ter’s for­mer chief prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary.

Af­ter the HC’S double bench stayed the quash­ing, paving the way for Ku­mar’s re­turn, Chi­dambaram was flown back to New Delhi from Chandi­garh in a state he­li­copter, cour­tesy the state’s ad­vo­cate gen­eral, Atul Nanda, who was un­der fire for “not de­fend­ing” Ku­mar’s case well.

Con­tacted, a govern­ment spokesper­son said, “The he­li­copter was made avail­able to the AG, who is en­ti­tled to it on ac­count of cabi­net rank, to fa­cil­i­tate him in his of­fi­cial work re­lat­ing to an im­por­tant case.” He said the AG flew to Delhi for an im­por­tant case. But it is re­li­ably learnt from se­nior of­fi­cers who did not want to be named that the AG did not have any case listed in Delhi, and that he left for Mum­bai from Delhi in re­la­tion to a case he has taken up in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity. Nanda could not be con­tacted.

This largesse comes in con­trast to the poll man­i­festo of the Congress that promised no use of state he­li­copter and air­craft for cabi­net min­is­ters. Fi­nance min­is­ter Man­preet Badal, who had drafted the man­i­festo, had courted con­tro­versy for us­ing it, as did some other min­is­ters.

Ear­lier, for­mer solic­i­tor-gen­eral of In­dia Ran­jit Ku­mar had de­fended the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion be­fore the sin­gle bench.

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