M A I N   N E W S

Flip-flop by witnesses helped Badal’s OSD, others go scot-free
Akash Ghai and Darshan Singh Sodhi/TNS

Case Timeline
August 29, 2002: An FIR was registered against 15 accused including Bhamra by Punjab Vigilance Bureau

August 30, 2002: Vigilance raids Bhamra’s house no. 815, Phase 3B1 at Mohali

August 23, 2004: Challan was presented before the court

May 18, 2005: Supplementary challan presented before the court in the case.

Nov 3, 2003: Kharar court declared Bhamra as proclaimed offender

Oct 17, 2011: Bhamra surrenders before court

Oct 29, 2011: Court acquitted Bhamra in corruption case also involving Badals

Oct 30, 2013: Court acquitted Bhamra along with 14 others

Mohali, November 1
Much like in the earlier case involving the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other members of the family, the acquittal of Hardeep Singh Bhamra, former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Sr Badal and 14 others was possible as 11 main prosecution witnesses resiled from their statements. These included three government employees who were a part of the search team that raided Bhamra's Mohali residence then.

Bhamra and others were acquitted on Wednesday by the Additional District and Sessions Court, Mohali in a corruption and disproportionate assets case. They were booked under Section 13 (1) (e) read with 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act and 120 B, 212 and 216 of IPC by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in August, 2002 during the Congress regime of Captain Amarinder Singh. Others acquitted include Badal's relative, Nirotam Singh Dhillon.

A total of 99 witnesses were cross-examined during the trial out of which 59 were prosecution witnesses and the rest defence witnesses.

Out of the prosecution witnesses, 11 main witnesses later moved away from their earlier statements, recorded in the case. The three government employees who were part of the search team, which had raided Bhamra’s Mohali residence (No. 815, Phase 3B1) on August 30, 2002 were Lakhwinder Singh and Shakti Kumar, who are clerk and peon respectively of the hospitality department, Punjab, and ASI Parmjit Kaur (who was then a Constable). They had earlier stated that they were a part of the team, led by DSP Gurmukh Singh. The team had given elaborate details of gold jewellery items and other goods along with passports of Bhamra, Surinder Kaur Badal, Parkash Singh Badal, various passbooks, insurance policies, FDRs, share certificates, sale deed of plot number 815, file of Orbit Resorts and other properties, which were recovered from Bhamra’s residence then. Later during the trial, the trio denied having made any such statements. They even claimed that their signatures were procured on blank papers and that they did not know about the contents.

Another witness Inder Singh, a resident of Mohali, had earlier stated that he was in close relation of Bhamra. He had held that "his relative Pralad Singh, working in the Forest Corporation as a field supervisor, collected huge amounts through bribe and handed over the same to Bhamra.” Pralad Singh also got appointed his brother in the transport department as Motor Vehicle Inspector. In his earlier statement, Inder Singh held that Hardeep Singh had purchased kothi number 3314, 19 B in the name of an NRI, who also used to convert his black money into white money through NRI accounts. Later during the trial, Inder Singh also denied having made any such statement to the police. A Chandigarh-based businessman Surinder Singh Walla, who had recorded his statement had stated that Badal’s close relative Narotam Singh, another accused in the case, was collecting money from the people on the pretext of providing jobs. The money in question was delivered to Badals through Bhamra.





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