Saturday, June 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Badal’s ex-PA moves SC for bail
S.S. Negi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s former personal assistant Hardeep Singh, facing a corruption case for allegedly acquiring assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, has moved the Supreme Court for anticipatory bail.

He had reportedly gone underground since his bail petition was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 23.

The arguments on the bail petition could not take place yesterday as his counsel Mahabir Singh sought time from the vacation Bench for filing certain documents pertaining to the case.

The Bench, comprising Mr Justice R.C. Lahoti and Mr Justice Brijesh Kumar, asked the counsel to file the documents immediately so that the matter could be taken up for hearing next week.

The bail petition is likely to be taken up for hearing either on Monday or Thursday next week when the vacation Bench will sit to take up urgent matters.

Hardeep Singh, who was having the status of an OSD while working as PA to Badal, moved a Special Leave Petition (SLP) for anticipatory bail after his plea was rejected by the High Court on April 23 holding that his custodial interrogation was necessary considering the facts and circumstances of the case.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau had registered an FIR against him on August 29, 2002 under Prevention of Corruption Act at bureau’s police station at SAS Nagar alleging that during his posting with the former Chief Minister, “by resorting to corruption (he) made movable and immovable properties worth crores of rupees, which is much beyond his known sources of income.”

Hardeep Singh in the SLP said there was no complaint made against him by anybody and the FIR was registered on the basis of an “undisclosed” source. He further said he had been regularly presenting himself before the SP of the Vigilance Bureau between September 2002 and April this year as per the direction of the High Court.

However, the High Court in its order had said it appeared that the petitioner had not presented himself for interrogation.

According to the FIR, Hardeep Singh had purchased a plot at SAS Nagar for Rs 12.70 lakh in his son’s name, built a house worth Rs 20 lakh on it, bought two commercial plots in the same locality for Rs 15 lakh and Rs 46.27 lakh in his own name and in the name of his relative, respectively, and spent Rs 20 lakh on raising a three-storey building on it.

Hardeep Singh, on the other hand, claimed that he was being harassed by the Punjab Government “intentionally” because of his association with Mr Badal though he had supplied the Vigilance Bureau “entire evidence — documentary and otherwise — to clarify his position” pertaining to his properties, bank accounts and income tax returns.

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