Friday, May 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Scam generated Rs 1,000 crore?
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department of the North-West Circle has initiated a process to unearth an estimated Rs 1,000 crore of black money generated through the cash-for-job scam of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC).

With the Punjab Government suspecting more than 3,000 appointments made during the tenure of the incarcerated PPSC Chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu allegedly for a consideration, the black money could well be more than Rs 1,000 crore, the Director-General of Investigation, Income Tax North-West Circle, Mr C.K. Vohra, told TNS here today.

The Income Tax Department has formally approached the Vigilance Bureau of Punjab to share details of those who might have got their appointment through bribes, touts and relatives of Mr Sidhu.

The department has, meanwhile, issued notices to Mr Sidhuís brother, mother and sister-in law, based abroad, to explain their sources of income.

The department has advanced the argument before the bureau that the tracking of financial transactions of the suspected persons by Income Tax officials would strengthen the case of the investigating agency before the court.

Mr Vohra said the bribe amount could have been raised by individuals and their families by either selling property and belongings or borrowing money.

At each stage, even if the money was unaccounted, income was generated requiring the department to find out whether the tax required to be paid to the government was paid or not.

If circumstantial evidences point a finger at concealing income, these cases could be kept open-ended to reach a possible long chain of unaccounted money travelling from one small source to the point of bribe, he said.

Mr Vohra, however, ruled out bringing politicians also into its net at this stage as mere mention of a name could not be treated as evidence.

A possible windfall for the department was considered after the department made a claim in the court to the Rs 24 crore recovered from Sidhuís relativesí lockers.

He expressed the possibility that the chain, through which the unaccounted money travelled, could be fairly long and the suspected Rs 100-crore scam, having a multiplier effect, could detect an unthinkable amount.

The department would also go into the abnormally high expenditure of those directly or indirectly involved in the case.



Sidhuís remand extended till May 17
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 2
The Additional Sessions-cum-Special Judge, Ropar, Mr A.S. Kathuria, today extended the judicial remand of PPSC Chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu till May 17.

The judicial remand of Surinder Kaur, another co-accused in the case, was also extended till May 17. Surinder Kaur has been booked by the Vigilance authorities for helping Sidhu in disposing of his bribe money to foreign countries, through havala. Her husband G.S. Manchanda has absconded.

Talking to newsmen outside the court complex today, Surinder Kaur alleged that the Vigilance authorities had implicated her falsely in the case and to pressurise her husband to give up before the police.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |