Criminal lawyer Amar Preet Singh Deolm who resigned as advocate general (AG) of Punjab last week, lashed out at state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, accusing him of “obstructing the functioning of the government”. Sidhu had criticised Charanjit Singh Channi government over appointment of Deol and resigned from his post.
Though Sidhu has now taken back his resignation, he said he will return to his duties as the state unit chief the day new advocate general is appointed.
Lashing out at the Congress leader, Deol said in a statement today, “There is a concerted attempt by vested interests to malign the functioning of Congress Party in view of upcoming elections in Punjab for their selfish political gain by politicising the constitutional office of the Advocate General of Punjab.”
“Navjot Singh Sidhu’s repeated utterances seek to derail the earnest efforts of the State govt to ensure justice in the drugs matter and the sacrilege cases. Sidhu is spreading misinformation to gain political advantage over his political colleagues,” he further said in the statement. He was appointed on September 27, but resigned on November 1.
Deol, 61, had shot into limelight earlier this year when he secured the release of former director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini, arrested by the vigilance bureau in a 2020 criminal case. Deol had appeared for Saini, among other accused, in the 2015 sacrilege cases before the Punjab and Haryana high court.
This became the reason for the criticism of the government following his appointment.
It was being reasoned that a person who defended Saini and those accused in sacrilege cases, should not have been appointed advocate general. Several Sikh organisations had also opposed his appointment.
Sidhu too had hit out at chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi at a press conference on Friday. “It is the question of conscience of Punjab. Without moral authority, you cannot speak truth,” the Amritsar East MLA said.
Sidhu had also objected to the appointment of APS Deol and Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota as the state’s AG and DGP by Channi who took over as the chief minister following Capt Amarinder Singh’s resignation on September 18 amid a rift in the state unit.