Notice over sexual misconduct by AAP minister in Punjab

Chandigarh, May 5 : Taking notice of the alleged 'sexual misconduct' by a Punjab cabinet minister, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), on order of its Chairman Vijay Sampla, on Friday issued a notice to the state Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to submit an action-taken report. In a video message and a letter to the NCSC, the victim has demanded justice as well as security, alleging minister Lal Chand Kataruchak was giving "threats to his life". "I am now on the run and submitting a complaint in Delhi as the minister is threatening to harm me and my family. I request the NCSC to take action against the minister over sexual misconduct and provide me with security," the victim said. The victim, who is from the Scheduled Caste community, alleged that "Kataruchak had approached him by sending a friend request on Facebook in 2013-14 and when he accepted it, Kataruchak allegedly started making advances. Since he was an influential person, he had promised me a government job due to which I remained mum. I was too young at that time to understand anything. But, his sexual excesses continued till 2021. "However, he met me for the last time on Diwali in 2021 and he neither provided me with a job nor did he meet me after that." Recently, the purported video was handed over to Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit by Congress legislator Sukhpal Khaira. Meanwhile, the NCSC asked the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to investigate the matter and to submit an action-taken report, through post or email. It also asked the officials to provide security for the victim. Sampla cautioned the officers that if an action-taken report is not received within the stipulated time, the Commission might exercise the powers of the civil court conferred on it under article 338 of the Constitution and issue a summon for personal appearance before the commission in Delhi. Responding to the allegations against the minister, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said here on Tuesday that the government had not received any video involving Kataruchak. "Khaira has a habit of making baseless allegations to stay in the limelight and draw political mileage," said the Chief Minister. /IANS


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