Ajnala Nagar Panchayat chief among seven booked for fraud

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 15

The Vigilance Bureau has booked the president of Ajnala Nagar Panchayat, Zoravar Singh, and six others on charges of fraud, after they allotted Nagar Panchayat shops in a fraudulent manner. Besides Zoravar Singh, the police have booked Rajesh Kumar, a junior assistant at the office of Executive Officer of the Ajnala Nagar Panchayat, Sukhtinder Singh, Jaswant Singh, Gurminder Singh, Avtar Singh and Jasvir Singh, all residents of Ajnala. They are alleged to be relatives of nagar panchayat members.

A case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the IPC has been registered against them at the Vigilance Bureau office here. While Gurminder Singh has been arrested, others went underground.

A senior vigilance official, wishing not to be named, said during a probe conducted by the Vigilance into the allotment of around 48 shops constructed on panchayat land indicted those booked for wrongful allotment.

He said the bidders failed to deposit the stipulated amount within the prescribed period and as per rules their bids should have been cancelled. But this fact was ignored and no action was taken. He said as per rules of the scheme, no bidders could bid for two shops and no shops could be allotted to relatives of the president or members of a nagar panchayat. All these regulations were deliberately ignored by the nagar panchayat to benefit the bidders.

The investigations carried by the Vigilance Bureau revealed that in May 2015, the nagar panchayat passed a resolution to construct and sell 25 shops on the land located opposite to the nagar panchayat office on Fatehgarh Churian road. However, the open auction invited by it was never held.

Again nagar panchayat decided to construct and sell 48 shops at the same place and passed a resolution in this regard in October 2015 for an open auction. Though an advertisement was published in certain newspapers, no public announcement was made in the villages regarding this. The probe also disclosed that the shops were allotted at a rent much lesser than the reserved price.

The officer said Rajesh Kumar has been booked as he fraudulently obtained ID proofs of local resident Ramesh Kumar and got a shop allotted in his name. However, he kept custody of the shop with him.

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