PTI Photo by Vijay Verma
PTI Photo by Vijay Verma

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High court today directed the court commissioner who oversaw the “sanitisation” of Dera Sacha Sauda premises in Haryana’s Sirsa to submit a supplementary report incorporating his opinion.

The court wanted to know whether the constructions inside the Dera were legal and directed Haryana’s town and country planning and local body departments to file a report on it. The full bench comprising Justices A G Masih, Surya Kant and Avneesh Jhingan was hearing a PIL filed by Panchkula resident Ravinder Dhull, who was concerned over the law-and-order situation in his town.

When the hearing resumed, senior advocate Anupam Gupta raised questions about the report by the Court Commissioner AKS Pawar on the sanitisation process. “It is hardly a report because the court commissioner did not give his views and opinion in the report he submitted. He just put annexures together and submitted it,” said Gupta.

The bench then directed the court commissioner to submit a supplementary report incorporating his opinion on “each material aspect” of the sanitisation process. Advocate Dhull, who filed the PIL, said the report was just a compilation of documents provided by the state police.

“This report did not highlight whether any illegality was done in the Dera,” Dhull said. Pawar was appointed by the high court to oversee the sanitisation of the sect premises in Sirsa. Two secret tunnels and an illegal firecracker factory were unearthed during the three-day-long exercise, from September 8 to 10.

An unlicensed skin bank was sealed during the exercise. The commissioner submitted his report on November 8. On a report filed by the Enforcement Directorate, the court said it appeared that the agency was still collecting information “as they are short of manpower”.

The court then ordered Additional Solicitor General Satyapal Jain to take instruction on whether the money laundering probe can be referred to the economic wing of the CBI. The court had directed the Income Tax Department and the ED to examine the sect’s assets and check for violation of rules under the Income Tax act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The high court fixed February 6 as the next date for the submission of reports by the court commissioner, the SIT and the ED. The court also asked the Haryana police to file a report on the destruction of evidences, like CDs and hard disks, at the Dera. It then asked the special investigation team to submit a copy of the challan in the Panchkula violence case. The court will hear the arguments on the recovery of the cost of security to be recovered from the Dera on January 17 and 18, Gupta said.

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