The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday pulled up the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) for not conducting a fair probe into the 2002 case of fraud in the Punjab Civil Services (Executive Branch) selection process and directed it to complete the investigation within 90 days and submit the challan.
The directions came from the division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain while disposing of a public interest litigation filed by Baltej Singh of Gurdaspur.
The petitioner had alleged that the VB was not investigating the matter fairly in the FIR No. 65 dated September 5, 2002, registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act at the VB police station, Patiala. The complaint in the case had challenged the selections made by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) between 1998 and 2001 during the tenure of then PPSC chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu.
The petitioner had sought a CBI inqury into the case. As per the petitioner, there were a total of 40 tainted candidates and the VB had presented the challan in the court only in the case of nine.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate RS Bains argued that the VB had deliberately not named in the FIR some candidates and one member of the PPSC, who had been indicted by the committee of three judges of the high court in 2007.
It was submitted that neither their role had been inquired into nor they had been interrogated. However, it was asserted that the VB had adopted a pick-and-choose policy while prosecuting some of the candidates.
As per HC committee's report dated February 8, 2007
Amarjit Singh Sidhu, then PPSC member
Harshinder Pal Singh Brar, cousin of Sidhu's son-in-law
Balkaran Singh, son of Thana Singh
Yadwinder Singh Sandhu, son of Gurcharan Singh Sandhu
Shish Paul, son of Tara Chand
Karanjit Singh, son of Dhayan Singh
Anita Darshi, daughter of AR Darshi
Amandeep Singh Bhatti, son of Rattan Singh Bhatti