The legal notice sent to Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh by activist lawyer H C Arora says the proposed appointments will place a huge burden on the state exchequer, which is already reeling under the burden of a huge salaries paid to officers on special duty (OSDs).
The Chief Minister announced that the state government would bear the entire expenses for the treatment of all those injured in the clashes, whether admitted to government or private hospitals.
"Though government couldn't have taken any other stand in the apex court other than what it had been taken in the trial and high court earlier, Sidhu deserves court's consideration", Amarinder said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the Supreme Court had stayed Sidhu's conviction in the road rage case in 2007 and was yet to pronounce its verdict on his petition challenging the high court order. "Accused A1 (Navjot Singh Sidhu) had given feisty blow to deceased Gurnam Singh leading to his death through brain haemorrhage". The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the high court. "There was neither any impediment in Sidhu's induction into the cabinet nor in his continuation now, in view of the stay on his conviction", said the Chief Minister.
Reacting to reports suggesting that the government had deliberately not supported the minister in the apex court, the Chief Minister stressed that unless the prosecution received new inputs, it was not legally possible for it to add a new element to its arguments.
The high court sentenced them to three-years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts.
After the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Sidhu in the road rage case, the minister had tried to put on a fearless face, saying he was ready to carry "any burden" that he may have to because of his own government's stance, even as Opposition demanded he quit the Cabinet.