Bathinda, September 25
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has registered a criminal and corruption case against former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and four others.
In this case the VB has arrested three accused Rajiv Kumar, resident of New Shakti Nagar, Bathinda; Amandeep Singh, resident of Lal Singh Basti, Bathinda; and Vikas Arora, resident of Tagore Nagar, Bathinda.
Meanwhile, Bathinda VB team conducted a raid at Manpreet Badal’s house at Badal village. It was learnt that he was not home.
A spokesperson of the VB on Monday said the case was registered on a complaint of Saroop Chand Singla, former MLA Bathinda city, against Manpreet Singh Badal and others.
He said during the probe it was found that Manpreet Singh Badal during his tenure as Finance Minister from 2018 to 2021 used his political pressure and influenced to purchase two plots measuring 1,560 square yards of land in Model Town phase-1 Bathinda near TV tower thereby caused a financial loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.
The spokesperson added that during the investigation of complaint number 11/2022, it was found that the former Finance Minister, using his influence, colluded with the officials/employees of BDA Bathinda has mislead the general public during the bidding of plots in 2021 and fake maps were uploaded to prevent participation of general public in the bidding process. Apart from this, the plot numbers 725-C (560 square yards) and 726 (1000 square yards) in the map were also shown as commercial instead of residential and the numbers of the plots were not shown in the map on the online e-auction portal. In addition to this, the digital signatures of Balwinder Kaur, Administrative Officer, BDA Bathinda were used for the auction of plots without her permission.
During the probe it was also came to light that the bids of the sole three bidders namely Rajive Kumar, Vikas Arora and Amandeep Singh were made by one person Advocate Sanjiv Kumar from the same IP address and from the same place. Apart from this, both the plots were purchased by the bidders in 2021 at a lower rate which was fixed during an auction in the year 2018 caused a financial loss of about Rs 65 lakh to the government. The former finance minister has purchased both plots through agreements from the bidders known to him before they got allotment letters from BDA Bathinda. It was also found that Manpreet Singh Badal has transferred 25 per cent earnest money in advance to the successful allottees which shows his in connivance with the bidders.
He added that the VB has been hunting for the arrest of other accused and involvement of other accused would also be probed during the further investigation.
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