Ashwani under fire over ASG appointment

Ashwani under fire over ASG appointment

The Punjab unit of the Congress has questioned the appointment of Rupinder Khosla as the additional solicitor general (ASG) of India by former law minister Ashwani Kumar, given the ASG’s proximity to the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government in the state.

Khosla served as the additional advocate general of the SAD-BJP government for five years, the Congress said. Party spokesperson Sukhpal Khaira said Khosla also headed a committee formed to handle the office of the Punjab advocate general, after erstwhile incumbent H S Mattewal fell ill. The Congress wondered how an Akali loyalist was appointed the ASG by Ashwani Kumar, a Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab. 

Khaira said Khosla was known for being close to the Badal family and tweaked the law to favour the Akali government.

“He also played a pivotal role under Mattewal to organise a state-managed acquittal of the Badal family in a disproportionate assets case as well as a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” Khaira alleged. He added that Khosla was a shrewd and partisan lawyer with loyalties to the Badal family instead of the Punjab government.

“It is alarming that a hardcore pro-Akali lawyer became an ASG of a government headed by the Congress at the Centre, while he is diametrically opposed to its very ideology. It is equally intriguing for the Congress cadres to understand why outgoing law minister Ashwani Kumar appointed a staunch Akali lawyer as the ASG of India,” he said. The party has urged the law minister to rescind Khosla’s appointment as the ASG without further delay. “His continuance can at a given point of time cause embarrassment to our UPA government given his closeness to the Badal family,” Khaira said.

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