PRESS NOTE — CIVIL SOCIETY AGAINST DRUGS

                                                                    11.01.2012

March against Drugs

Five hundred children whose parents are drug addicts would be kicking off the march from Makboolpura, Amritsar against the distribution of drugs and liquor during the ensuing elections of the Punjab Assembly. A 7-day march would be led by Sh. H.S. Phoolka, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India. The march would be blessed and launched by Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, GyaniGurbachan Singh ji by performing ardasat the Harmandir Sahib.

The first phase is of three days, 13th, 14th and 15th January 2012, which would cover Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozpur, Mukhsar, Faridkot, Moga and Ludhiana. The first phase ends at Ludhiana on the 15th of January. The second phase will take place on 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd January and would cover other districts of Punjab.

Today, a delegation consisting of Sh. KuldeepNayar, noted Journalist; Justice RajinderSachar (Retd.), President, PUCL; Sh. H.S. Phoolka and Sh. BhuvanRibhu, Gen. Sec. BachpanBachaoAndolan met the Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. S.Y. Qureshi and the other two election commissioners. The CEC has highly appreciated this move by the civil society and has said that there is a dire need of such movements. Sh. Qureshi has stated that drugs and liquor distribution is a major problem in Punjab and the Election Commission requires the support of civil society to put a check on this evil. The Election Commission has assured its complete support and cooperation towards the initiative.

Sh. Phoolka informed the Election Commission that they have started 2 hotline numbers where anyone can lodge a complaint if any candidate is found distributing drugs or liquor. The hotline numbers are09779747474 and 09872959595. The Election Commission has assured that any complaint communicated to the Commission would be met with prompt action. Sh. Phoolka also informed the Election Commission that their group has formed monitoring committees in all districts of Punjab and a strong team of lawyers in Chandigarh and district centres all over Punjab would render legal assistance to initiate action against errant candidates.

The legal team at Chandigarh is headed by Sh. Navkiran Singh, Advocate and Sh. RoshanlalBatta, Senior Advocate. The Election Commission was also apprised that a number of organizations have joined hands in this campaign. The President of the Indian Medical Association, Punjab Chapter, Dr. Shiv Dutt Gupta and the President of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, Sh. Dhaliwal have extended full cooperation.

H.S. Phoolka

Senior Advocate

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Campaign launched to check drug use in polls SC lawyer starts ‘intoxicants-free Punjab’ drive, candidates under scanner

The following is a news report in the Tribune Chandigarh.

 

Bathinda, December 25
Apprehending the distribution of intoxicants (drugs and liquor) by the contesting candidates or their supporters among the people during the Assembly elections in Punjab, a senior Supreme Court advocate, HS Phoolka launched a campaign under the banner of ‘Intoxicants-free Punjab’ here today. The intoxicants are reportedly distributed in the elections to lure the voters for securing their votes.

Phoolka, who is convener of the campaign, said due to a similar campaign by his team in the SGPC elections, the distribution of intoxicants had been controlled in a big way.

The Supreme Court lawyer said there were apprehensions that in the current Assembly elections, the intoxicants would be distributed in a big way by the contestants to ensure their victory.

Phoolka said they had formed a group to check the distribution of drugs in the Punjab Assembly elections. In this group, besides him, Justice Rajinder Sachar, Justice Kuldip Singh and noted journalist Kuldip Nayyar were the other members. He said Kuldip Nayyar would meet the Chief Election Commissioner in New Delhi tomorrow to discuss the issue while he would meet the Chief Electoral Officer Kusumjit Sidhu in Chandigarh tomorrow in this regard.

Phoolka also announced that they would form district-level monitoring committees for the purpose. He said Dr GS Nagpal and advocate Jatinder Khattar would be members of the committee in Bathinda. He said in Chandigarh, advocate Navkiran Singh would work for the success of the campaign.

Phoolka said that after receiving a complaint about the distribution of intoxicants, his team would take up the matter with the Election Commission. If the complaint was found to be true, then the winning candidate might be disqualified after election or the candidature of the candidate could be cancelled during the election, he added.

He also appreciated the role of the media during the SGPC elections in checking the distribution of intoxicants. He said they would now meet the state presidents of the SAD, the BJP and the Congress to make a request to issue directions to their respective candidates on not distributing intoxicants among the voters. He said they would even conduct ‘sting operations’ for checking the distribution of intoxicants. He also said there were several code names for different intoxicants, like dry fruit for ‘poppy husk’.

Phoolka said his team would maintain a close contact with the Election Commission for checking the use of intoxicants during the elections.

The Supreme Court lawyer also said that they would issue phone numbers and addresses for making the complaints so that it could be brought to the notice of the Election Commission for the required action.