Speedy probe sought into 4-year-old investment scam

NGO accuses local cops of shielding the ‘fraudsters’

PK Jaiswar
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 24

Accusing the police of dilly-dallying over the probe into the four-year-old Rs400-crore “multicrore investment scam”, the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO), an NGO, has urged the Chief Secretary, Punjab, to shift the investigation to some state-level special investigation team (SIT) for a speedy inquiry.

The NGO alleges that cops are sitting on the evidence to help the high-profile accused, including a political leader. Several people have lost their hard-earned money to fraudsters.

“The state government should transfer the probe to a state-level SIT besides sharing information with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the Income Tax, and the Enforcement Directorate for further action,” said Sarabjit Singh Verka, Principal Investigator, PHRO, in a communique to the Chief Secretary.

“The case needs to be looked into by the ED and the Income Tax sleuths but the Punjab police did not inform them, suggesting that the latter have been shielding the suspects,” he pointed out.

It also sought appropriate action against those officers who allegedly hushed up the matter and had not taken the evidence on record to favor the suspects and main culprits.

The city police had registered two FIRs in 2016. The first case was registered by the Chheharta police in July 2016 in which Ramesh Kumar Chug and his family members were booked. Parveen Kumar Tandon and his family were booked in November same year. While several accused got bail, others are still at large and the big fish are still enjoying immunity.

The scam was unearthed by the PHRO, headed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Ajit Singh Bains. It carried out an investigation for months and collected evidence against the suspects. It handed over its over 3500-page report to the DGP. “However, investigators failed to make any progress and the files must have been gathering dust,” alleged Verka. He said the local police did not bring the probe conducted by PHRO on record even after four years. He alleged a local MLA was influencing the police.

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