Thursday, January 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PSEB ex-chief Sohal held
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 29
The Punjab Vigilance Department arrested former Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Chairman G.S. Sohal from Delhi early this morning on a charge of causing a loss of Rs 40 lakh to the board by going in for purchase of expensive meters.

Mr Sohal was presented in a local court in the evening which remanded him to police custody till January 31.

Besides Mr Sohal, the local Vigilance Bureau has registered a case under the corruption Act against former Board Member, Operations, Kirpal Singh Gill, former Chief Engineers Tarlochan Singh and Mr Mata, former Superintending Engineer T.R. Jain and Purchase Officer A.K. Khanna. According to the case registered against Mr Sohal and others, the board incurred a loss of Rs 40 lakh while purchasing three and a half lakh in 2000. The FIR registered in the Patiala Vigilance Bureau Police station states that the Chairman gave the contract for supply of meters to his favourites in collusion with the other officers against whom the case has been registered. It says this was done despite the fact that the board tenders for the supply of meters to the board were available at much cheaper rates.

According to information, Mr Sohal was arrested from his New Delhi residence at 5.30 a.m. He was subsequently brought to Patiala and presented before the court of Mr R.K. Jain who remanded him to police custody till January 31. The judge, however, allowed Mr Sohalís lawyers to meet him everyday besides directing that he be provided appropriate medical attention.

Earlier, Mr Kundan Singh Nagra while appearing for Mr Sohal claimed that there was no truth in the allegations levelled against Mr Sohal. Counsel argued that a Purchase Committee had been constituted to buy the meters. He said following this, tenders were called and orders given and the case was put up before the full board.

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