The Punjab and Haryana High Court has come down heavily on the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr.Manohar Lal Khattar, for ‘protecting the Dera followers and extending political patronage to them.’ It also slammed the state Education Minister, Mr. Ram Bilas Sharma, for giving a grant of Rs. 51 lakh to the Dera.
The Bench also directed the Deputy Commissioners of the two states to furnish a list of the Dera’s properties. They have been asked to invite claims to property damage in the violence that rocked the two states in the past few days.
The Bench of Mr. Justice SS Saron, Mr.Justice Surya kant and Mr. Justice Avneesh Jhingran, came down heavily on the Haryana state for misleading the court by furnishing false information on the number of vehicles in the convoy of the Dera chief that left Sirsa for Panchkula on the day the verdict was delivered and asked them to name the officer who furnished this false information.
The state was also asked to inform the Bench about any plans to sanitize the Dera Sacha Sauda. It was told to verify a report carried in a vernacular daily regarding instigation by the Dera leaders. The Bench directed the registration of an FIR against the instigators. There is a sea of difference between the administrative and political decisions, it pointed out.
Meanwhile hearing on the quantum of punishment to be given to the Sirsa Dera chief would be held in the Rohtak District jail where he is housed at present, according to a notification the High Court had issued