Chidambaram flies out in state chopper, courtesy the AG!
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.
Senior lawyer and former Union minister P Chidambaram, Punjab’s additional advocate general Rameeza Hakeem and AG Atul Nanda at the high court in Chandigarh on Wednesday.