A local court on Saturday convicted Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh of misusing his official vehicle during his reign as education minister a decade ago.
The minister was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and also slapped a fine of R30,000. However, he has been granted bail to enable him to approach a higher court to challenge the conviction. “The accused had misused the cars of Punjab School Education Board and caused huge losses to the board… When the person who is at the helm of the affairs conducts himself in such a manner, the others are bound to follow him,” the court order read.
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau had also booked Singh — who was education minister from 1997 to 2002 — for forgery and owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. All the cases were registered in 2002 when Congress was in power.
Singh had even been arrested in June 2002 in connection with the cases.
Singh was, however, acquitted in the disproportionate assets case, giving him some reason to cheer.