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Posted at: Dec 8, 2017, 1:35 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2017, 1:35 AM (IST)

Irrigation scam: SC denies bail to two accused

Rs 1,000-cr fraud

  • Former Chief Engineer Harvinder Singh and contractor Gurinder Singh are facing criminal investigation as accused in the Rs 1,000-crore Punjab irrigation scam. An FIR was registered on August 17 by the State Vigilance Bureau for alleged cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and various other offences, including those under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 7

The Supreme Court today rejected the anticipatory bail pleas of former chief engineer Harvinder Singh and contractor Gurinder Singh, who are facing criminal investigation as accused in the Rs 1,000-crore Punjab irrigation scam.

A Bench of Justice NV Ramana and Justice S Abdul Nazeer dismissed their special leave petitions after senior counsel Shyam Divan and Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda opposed it on the ground that the accused needed to be interrogated.

“We are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order passed by the (Punjab and Haryana) High Court,” said the Bench in its order after perusing the “relevant material” and hearing counsels Mukul Rohatgi and KTS Tulsi on behalf of the accused duo.

However, acceding to the request of Rohatgi and Tulsi, the top court granted one week from Thursday to the two accused to surrender before the trial court.

The petitioners had challenged the November 16 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing anticipatory bail pleas of six accused, including Harvinder Singh and Gurinder Singh.

“This court is convinced that there is prima facie evidence against all petitioners and huge evidence is required to be collected by the investigating agency and that is possible only if the custodial interrogation is allowed,” the high court had said.

However, the Supreme Court said: “Any observations made by the high court in the impugned order do not come in the way of the petitioners in considering the bail applications and the main matters before the trial court. As a sequel to the above, pending applications, if any, shall stand disposed of.”

Meanwhile, a VB spokesperson said the high court had already declined relief to accused named in the scam. They included contractor Gurinder Singh, Parmjit Singh Ghuman, Harwinder Singh and Gurdev Singh Syan (all retired chief engineers), Gulshan Nagpal and Bajrang Lal Singla (both executive engineers) and supervisor Vimal Kumar Sharma.

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