Friday, December 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Vigilance notice to ex-minister
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 14 — After Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar, Leader of the Haryana BJP Legislature Party, it is the turn of the former Deputy Union Minister for Communications, Mr Jai Prakash Barwala, to receive a notice from the State Vigilance Bureau (SVB).

According to informed sources, the Hisar office of the SVB has asked the former Union Minister, who presently is Congress MLA from Barwala, to present himself before the investigation officer on December 18. The notice to Mr Barwala has been issued under Section 160 of the Cr.PC.

The allegation against Mr Barwala is that he has amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Mr Barwala, popularly known as “JP”, once was a close associate of the INLD President and Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. When he was in Mr Chautala’s party, he allegedly headed the Green Brigade, which shot into prominence for its role during the Allahabad Lok Sabha byelection in which the former Prime Minister, Mr V.P. Singh, was the Opposition-sponsored candidate. Primarily the youth wing of Mr Chautala’s party, it came to be known as Green Brigade because its members used to wear green bands around their heads.

The sources say the complaint, on which the SVB is now acting, was received when Mr Bansi Lal was the Chief Minister. After it was examined in the office of the Chief Secretary, it was marked to the SVB for investigation. A formal FIR, if need be, will be registered after the SVB submits a report to the Chief Secretary and he permits the bureau to do so.

Mr Barwala was not available for comments. It is believed that he is away to Rajasthan as a member of the Library Committee of the Haryana Assembly.

Meanwhile, the BJP leader, Mr Gujjar, has replied to the notice given by the SP, Vigilance, Gurgaon, seeking his comments on the charge that he had amassed wealth and property disproportionate to his known sources of income when he was a minister in the Bansi Lal ministry.

In his two-page letter, Mr Gujjar described the charges as “false, concocted, vague and baseless”. He asked the SP to supply him full details of the properties alleged to be owned by him (Mr Gujjar) in the SVB notice. He also asked the bureau to supply him copies of the complaints against him to enable him to give a proper reply.

Mr Gujjar wrote that the notice “has been sent to me with an intention to malign me in the eyes of the public since I am the leader of the Legislature Party of the BJP in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha. The allegations have been levelled as part of political vendetta.

He said in case of the bureau’s failure to supply him the copies of the complaints, “it shall be presumed that there is nothing against me and these communications have been sent with mala fide intentions and to pressurise me not to raise the grievances of the people in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha and not to speak against the present regime.”

It is not known what action the SVB proposes to take or has taken on Mr Gujjar’s letter.Back

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