Jalandhar, November 29
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has arrested Bhagwant Bhushan, alias Bawa, a resident of Krishna Nagar, Railway Road, here, who was reportedly involved in a case of disproportionate assets registered against Balbir Kumar Virdi, Joint Director, GST.
The case was filed against Virdi for allegedly amassing assets beyond his known sources of income while serving as a government official. An investigation had revealed that during the period from April 1, 2007 to September 11, 2020, Balbir Kumar Virdi had declared an income of Rs 2,08 crore but he had spent Rs 5.12 crore during the same period. This discrepancy showed an excess expenditure of Rs 3.03 crore, a startling 145.40 per cent more than his actual income.
Consequently, the VB had in May this year registered a corruption case against him for misusing his position and accumulating assets surpassing his lawful income under Sections 13(1)(b) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act at the VB Range, Jalandhar.
Furthermore, the investigation uncovered Bhagwant Bhushan’s role as a special partner in establishing “Jagdambey Lifestyle” firm in Ludhiana, along with “Clean and Cool” firm in Ludhiana owned by his wife Kavita and GST Joint Director Virdi’s wife Surinder Kaur.
Bhagwant Bhushan has been nominated in the process of laundering the alleged black money amounting to crores on behalf of Balbir Kumar Virdi through these bogus firms.
The VB spokesperson said the records indicate that Bhagwant Bhushan made a payment of Rs 10 lakh for a lift installed at kothi No. 213, Guru Gobind Singh Nagar in Jalandhar, belonging to Balbir Kumar Virdi, using funds from his Jagdambey Lifestyle, Ludhiana, in the account of Schindler India Pvt.
Similarly, a payment of Rs 3.18 lakh for a generator installed at Virdi’s residence was transacted by Bhagwant Bhushan’s Jagdambey Lifestyle Company in the account of Sudhir Power Limited, Ludhiana. He informed that in light of his involvement, Bhagwant Bhushan was apprehended today and has been named in the case.
The spokesperson further stated that the VB is conducting intensive raids at residences and other hideouts to apprehend Balbir Kumar Virdi, who would be taken into custody soon. In this case, his bail application has already been rejected by the Jalandhar district court and he is on the run.
Virdi, along with several transports and industry proprietors, has been implicated in misappropriating GST collections. In this regard, an FIR dated August 21, 2020 has already been registered under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B and under Sections 7 and 7-A of Prevention of Corruption Act at the VB police station, Flying Squad-1, Mohali. Pursuant to the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Virdi had joined the investigation in this case.
Intensive raids on to nab official
The Vigilance Bureau spokesperson stated that the VB was conducting intensive raids at residences and other hideouts to apprehend Balbir Kumar Virdi, who would be taken into custody soon. In this case, his bail application had already been rejected by the Jalandhar district court and he was on the run.
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