As an embarrassment to the Punjab vigilance bureau, a local court on Wednesday acquitted 11 persons, including a block development and panchayat officer (BDPO), a junior engineer and two gram sewaks, as the prosecution failed to prove charges against them. The Punjab vigilance bureau on November 20, 2007, had booked 11 persons on allegations of embezzlement of funds worth `1.42 crore provided under the Punjab Nirman Yojna.
The order comes as respite to Pakhowal BDPO Jaspreet Singh (43), JE Sarwan Singh (55) and gram sewaks Nirmal Singh (62) and Harpreet Singh (46), both posted at the Pakhowal block in Ludhiana, along with seven businessmen.
The businessmen acquitted are identified as Avtar Singh (57), Bahadur Singh (40), Rajinder Rana (54), Davinder Singh (47), Rajinder Singh (63), Inderjit Singh (56) and Ashok Kumar (62) for lack of evidence.
It was alleged that the accused had printed forged bills, cashbooks, work registers and mustered roll registers to show the work done under the Punjab Nirman Yojna in 12 villages of the Pakhowal block. Under the scheme, the state government had released an amount of `2.29 crore for development works in the villages, but the accused had embezzled `1.4 crore. The case, however, fell flat as the prosecution failed to prove the allegations against them.