After coming to know that a probe into the bungling of Border Area Development Programme (BADP) funds allegedly involving former Punjab cabinet minister Gulzar Singh Ranike has been completed and challan has been presented in Amritsar trial court, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday
disposed of a public interest litigation seeking CBI probe.
The decision from the division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain came during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by advocate Hari Singh Nagra.
The state vigilance bureau was conducting probe into the case and had informed the high court that Ranike's personal assistant and key accused in the case, Sarabdyal Singh, accumulated assets worth Rs. 2.56 crore from embezzled amount between July 2008 and September 2012.
However, appearing for the Centre, advocate Onkar Singh Batalvi informed the court that the centre government had no doubt on utilisation certificates submitted by the state government on border area development programme funds. He informed the court that there is a state committee headed by the chief secretary and utilization certificates had been signed by an officer of the joint secretary level as per the allocation of funds by the centre government.
Ranike had tendered the resignation as minister on September 16, 2012, after the HT had exposed the multi-crore scam in August through a series of stories. He held the charge of departments like welfare of scheduled castes/backward classes, animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy development.
The petitioner had sought CBI pobe in the case saying that since a huge amount and a former cabinet minister of the ruling government were involved, there were less chances of fair investigation by the state vigilance bureau, which was entrusted the inquiry by the state chief minister.