Punjab CM to seek special courts for NRIs’ PO cases

Punjab CM to seek special courts for NRIs’ PO cases

India Post News Service

PHAGWARA: Responding to a request by a group of NRIs attending the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has assured the diaspora settled abroad that he will take up both with the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the union government the issue of setting up special courts to expeditiously settle cases of those who had been declared proclaimed offenders (POs) after fleeing Punjab during the period of terrorism.

The NRIs expressed concern that many of those who had immigrated were unable to visit Punjab and pay respects at the Golden Temple or other holy places as they had been declared POs on account of their inability to appear before courts in certain cases. The Chief Minister said that he would discuss with the Chief Justice the possibility of setting up a special court to resolve such cases expeditiously.

He further said that he would also take up with the Center the possibility of setting up such special courts at a few Indian missions abroad, such as the UK, Canada, the US, Germany and France where there is a large presence of Punjabi population. Meanwhile, Singh Noember 13 asked the cash rich Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to at least pay the $20 fee of yellow card holders to travel to Gurdwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

The Chief Minister said this amid reports that the newly opened Kartarpur Corridor reported low footfall. He urged India and Pakistan to waive the passport condition for travelling through the corridor and accept IDs such as Aadhaar card, driver’s license etc as there was no requirement of visa.

Amarinder Singh said that the low footfall was not due to lack of interest among people but because of passport and fee. Pointing to the lavish spending by the SGPC on holding the separate 550th birth anniversary programs, Singh said it was evident that the religious body was flush with funds. “Given the claims by SAD president Sukhbir Badal and his wife of being the protectors of the Sikh religion, the least they could do is ask the SGPC, which they controlled, to help out the poor pilgrims,” he said.

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