Monday, June 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


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Nirmal Kahlon’s houses raided
Tribune News Service

irmal Singh Kahlon's wife Surinder Kaur with a vigilance sleuth
Nirmal Singh Kahlon's wife Surinder Kaur with a vigilance sleuth who examines the silver utensils and ornaments recovered during the raid in Amritsar on Sunday. — Photo Rajiv Sharma

Amritsar, June 16
Close on the heels of the arrest of Tota Singh, a former Education Minister, Vigilance sleuths today conducted a six-hour search of the palatial house of Nirmal Singh Kahlon, a former Rural and Panchayat Development Minister, in the posh Basant Avenue here and his farmhouse in Gurdaspur district. After Tota Singh and Sucha Singh Langah, he is the third former Akali minister against whom the Vigilance Bureau has initiated an inquiry.

While the whereabouts of Kahlon are not known, his wife Surinder Kaur Kahlon, District Education Officer, and her brother Paramjit Singh were present at the house during the search carried out by Mr Tejinder Paul Singh Sandhu, SP, Mr Rashpaul Singh and Mr Jagir Singh, both DSPs, and Mr Ajaib Singh, Inspector.

Ms Kahlon claimed that her husband had gone to Chandigarh and was not underground as charged by some persons. She said he had got anticipatory bail and would join investigations voluntarily as the family was not panicky about the raids.

However, the Vigilance Bureau found that a large quantity of “black tahli” (sesham wood) bearing government number and tree-guards belonging to the municipal corporation were stacked in the backyard of the house. The house was allegedly constructed with imported and expensive material. According to a rough estimate, the market value of the bungalow is more than Rs 2 crore which was constructed after his induction into the Badal Cabinet.

Earlier, the bureau had conducted simultaneous raids on the residences of Kahlon, and his associates in Amritsar, Ajnala and Chandigarh.

A close relative of Kahlon, Baldev Singh, a former Chief Engineer in the Rural Development Department, and Kuldip Singh, District Development Officer, were arrested on April 28 by the Vigilance in connection with the recruitment of nine engineers on “fake” certificates. Some persons recruited under the handicapped quota were not actually handicapped and the then Civil Surgeon, Amritsar, had given false certificates. One such beneficiary was a close relative of Kahlon. The Vigilance Bureau had also booked R. Venktaratnam, an IAS officer and the then Director, Rural Development, in this connection.

Meanwhile, Mr Raj Khurana, a local businessman, alleged that Nirmal Singh Kahlon had forcibly occupied his partially constructed house (adjoining the house of Kahlon) with the help of his securitymen during his stint as minister. He said he and his two brothers had purchased about 2000 yards in 1980 and constructed three houses on 625 yards each. However, his brothers sold their houses to the father-in-law of Kahlon when he was a minister in the Barnala government in 1986.Back


Kahlon booked in recruitment scam
Shashi Pal Jain

Kharar, June 16
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has registered another case against Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, a former Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, in connection with a scam pertaining to the recruitment of tax clerks, patwaris, peons, mukhya sevikas and panchayat secretaries in the state. Mr Jeewan Parkash, Principal, ETC, Nabha, was arrested in this regard yesterday.

Ms Harinder Sidhu, Duty Magistrate, today remanded Mr Jeewan Parkash in police custody till June 20. She ordered that he should be produced at 11 a.m. on that day and given all medical facilities during this period.

Mr Jatinderjit Singh Punn, Public Prosecutor, appeared in court and said the Vigilance Bureau had registered a case on June 14 at SAS Nagar under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 120B of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He said in this corruption case, Mr Kahlon was the main accused. He alleged that Mr Jeewan Parkash was the chairman of a selection committee which made appointments after taking bribe from candidates. He alleged that some of the selected candidates did not even fulfil the necessary qualifications. He stated that Ms Kamaljit Kaur, an advocate, had alleged that a bribe of Rs 3 lakh was demanded from her through Manjit Singh, a stenographer, for her appointment as mukhya sevika. When she refused to pay the bribe, she was not recruited, he said.

The defence council refuted the charges levelled against the accused and said there were no grounds for police remand. He said the accused was the chairman of a selection committee at a time when four such committees were functioning. He said the accused was not an appointing authority and used to convey the decision of the committee to the Director, Rural Development and Panchayats. He said the accused did not possess any records as these were with the Director. He said the allegation levelled by Ms Kamaljit Kaur was false. He said she had made the complaint one and a half years after the selection, which had not been challenged during this period. The counsel said the complainant had not been selected as she had secured a third division in BA.Back

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