Following the Congress’s defeat in Punjab assembly elections, the state’s Advocate General Deepinder Singh Patwalia today resigned as Punjab’s top government lawyer. In a two-line resignation letter, he said he was doing it “keeping with the long-standing constitutional convention”. The AG traditionally resigns with a change in government as they are not seen as neutral and are appointed on the ruling government’s advice. Mr Patwalia, who was Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s pick, had taken over as AG in November last year after his predecessor APS Deol resigned from the post after weeks of high drama. Mr Deol was appointed AG of Punjab on September 27, 2021, after Atul Nanda resigned with the exit of Captain Amarinder Singh as Punjab Chief Minister. His appointment had turned out to be a major flashpoint between Chief Minister Charanjit Channi and Mr Sidhu, plunging the ruling party further into crisis after Amarinder Singh’s dramatic exit.
Days after his appointment, Mr Deol had resigned after Mr Sidhu objected over his link to the 2015 sacrilege case which is a highly sensitive issue in Punjab. Mr Deol had represented two accused cops, former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and Paramraj Singh Umaranangal, in the Behbal Kalan police firing case. Initially, Mr Channi had refused to accept Mr Deol’s resignation. Mr Deol then slammed the ex-cricketer for “repeated utterances (that) seek to derail the earnest efforts of the state to ensure justice in the ‘drugs matter’ and the ‘sacrilege cases'”.
He had also accused Mr Sidhu of “spreading misinformation to gain a political advantage over his political colleagues”. “There is a concerted attempt by vested interests to malign the functioning of the Congress party in view of the coming elections in Punjab for their selfish political gain, by politicizing the constitutional office of the Advocate General of Punjab,” Mr Deol wrote in a brief statement then. NDTV