Monday, November 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Gurdev Badal in police remand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Former Agriculture Minister and a SAD (Badal) MLA, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, who was picked up from his residence in Faridkot late last night has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the Vigilance Bureau for allegedly amassing property worth Rs 1.7 crore in the past five years. He was later remanded in police custody for a day by a city court.

A close associate of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, who is also a member of the PAC of the party, has been accused of building property in Faridkot, Sidhwan Khurd and Jagraon town from 1997 to 2002, during his tenure as agriculture minister. He was elected MLA for a record 11th time from the Panj Guraian a Assembly constituency in Faridkot district.

A spokesman for the bureau said FIR no. 83 dated November 23 P.S. Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad, Patiala under Section 13 (1) E (D) R/W 13 (2) 88 PC Act was registered against Mr Badal.

A press note issued at Chandigarh further stated that Mr Badal allegedly purchased a residential plot measuring 500 square yard, in the name of his children Kewal Singh, Suba Singh, Karnail Kaur and grandson Bhupinder Singh. A double-storey bungalow was constructed on this plot. He also purchased land measuring three acre-three kanals at Faridkot and food grain storage plinths have been constructed on this land.

Mr Badal allegedly purchased a 10 marla plot in Panj Guraian village and constructed a house on it. He also purchased 20 kanals in his own name and 16 kanals in the name of his grandson Bhupinder Singh. He also has agriculture land in villages, namely, Gairsian Khan Mohmad, Ghunewal and Bhaini-Araiana. He allegedly misused his authority and got underground irrigation pipes laid from the Soil Conservation Department. In this manner, he allegedly acquired assets worth Rs 1.07 crore allegedly disproportionate to his known sources of income. He has also acquired movable assets like luxury cars, gold, bank deposits etc.

The spokesman also stated that Mr Badal being a public servant also allegedly misused his office for giving financial benefits to his near and dear ones in the form of appointments, promotions and selections etc. ‘‘We have also got the information that apart from the above mentioned disproportionate assets, the accused has also acquired others benami properties. This angle will also be explored and investigated during the investigation’’, the press note said.

Talking for a couple of minutes to TNS at a district court here today before being whisked away by the Vigilance team, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal said he had been implicated in the case.

He said he had been especially targeted for his stand in favour of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son Kewal Singh Badal in the run-up to the SGPC elections.

He also accused the Ludhiana Vigilance bureau team of not only misbehaving with him but also ill-treating him. He said he was arrested at 11 p.m.

Mr Badal was produced in the court of the Duty Magistrate, Mr D.P. Singla.

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