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Avtar S. Makkar vs Jasbir Ahluwalia – Ahluwalia described Makkar as a “mahant”

August 2, 2012 | By

Fatehgarh Sahib, (August 02, 2012): Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia is a controversial personality. He was sacked from the post of Vice-chancellor of Punjabi Univeristy, Patiala in 2002 due to criminal charges he was facing at that time. When Shiormani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) decided to open a University named after Sikh Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib (ji), Ahluwalia was given the responsibility to prepare the bule prints and superwise it’s establishment.

Sikh organizations were demanding his removal even since his appointment to this project.

SGPC leaders used to defend his appointment citing his “qualifications”. Now he is removed from the post of VC by SGPC and a war of words has broken out between Ahluwalia SGPC cheif Avtar Singh Makkar.

Soon after his suspension Ahluwalia threatened to expose it all. He was referring to misdeeds with in the administration of SGPC.

Now, in a written statement, Ahluwalia described Makkar as a “mahant” and accused him of blackmail and nepotism. He traced the genesis of the present dispute between him and Makkar to a large number of appointments illegally made by Makkar in the university during my absence due to hospitalization.

According to Ahluwalia, “Makkar told me to justify 92 illegal appointments of the SGPC-run university in the Punjab and Haryana high court, of which 32 appointees were his relatives or acquaintances. When I refused to comply and threatened to tell the truth in the court, he suspended me.” Illegal appointees included Makkar’s grandson Amanpreet Singh, who was now acting as the “super V- C” of the university.

“In 2011, when I remained at the PGI for two months after being shot at, Makkar made acting V-C Gurnek Singh recruit 92 candidates without creating or advertising posts and also without holding an interview. Some people were appointed teachers in subjects which did not even have departments on the campus. As a writ against these appointments is pending in the high court, Makkar told me to come up with a justification or quit the V- C’s post. When I refused to do his bidding, he punished me,” he alleged.

Ahluwalia claimed that he recruited Makkar’s grandson as a data entry operator on contract basis, but during his hospitalisation, Amanpreet was appointed deputy director, university youth affairs, at a salary of Rs 35,000. “Makkar even told me that if I would resign, he would pay me the salary for the remaining period (10 months) of my scheduled four-year tenure as vice-chancellor.”

He alleged that Makkar had met the contractor – who is handling construction work on the ampus – at Sirhind’s Floating Restaurant under suspicious circumstances. “You can guess why he did not meet the contractor in the SGPC office at Sirhind or Fatehgarh Sahib…” The writ petition filed in the HC court has mentioned “fictitious” payments to the tune of Rs 7 crore on the basis of cash vouchers.

Ahluwalia said Makkar had also forced him to allow a student to appear in an exam even though the latter was short on attendance – thus violating UGC (University Grants Commission) rules. “Makkar was interfering in university affairs. And he wanted to reduce me to a rubber stamp,” Ahluwalia said. He said he had repeatedly brought the matter to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s notice. “Makkar’s interference is ruining Badal’s dream project,” Ahluwalia said.

On the other hand, Makkar said Ahluwalia was corrupt and had a tainted past. “For the university’s sake, I had remained silent about the V-C’s misdeeds. Ahluwalia should clarify why he recruited a female faculty member and gave her an increment of Rs 7,000 within 10 days of appointment,” Makkar said, adding that as per documents available with the SGPC, Ahluwalia had himself picked the contractor for construction of the university’s building. It is strange that he is now accusing me of corruption as I have marked an inquiry into alleged misuse of university funds.”

Ahluwalia had himself appointed his (Makkar’s) grandson and even given the latter increments. “If he recruited him on his own, why is he now raising the issue? I never approached him for the recruitment,” he said.

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