Punjab animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike's former personal assistant Sarabdyal Singh informed the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday that the state vigilance bureau (VB) arrested him in a "tearing hurry" just to "accord a quietus (settle down) to the proceedings against the minister" in the border area development programme (BADP) fund scam in Amritsar's Attari constituency.
Sarabdyal Singh, who had approached the high court seeking bail, informed the court that he had been made a "scapegoat" in the case. Taking up his petition, justice Paramjeet Singh, while issuing notice of motion to the Punjab government, sought its reply by July 4.
Sarabdyal informed the court through his petition that "it is a matter of record that the role of the senior leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal and a cabinet minister (Gulzar Singh Ranike) was under scanner for the alleged embezzlement". However, "in a tearing hurry and undue haste" the vigilance bureau arrested him so as to save the minister, he alleged.
He is behind bars at the central jail, Amritsar, since the Punjab VB arrested him on October 20 last year from Nainital in Uttarakhand. The Amritsar district court had on January 14 dismissed his bail petition.
He has sought bail in an FIR registered on May 22, 2011, under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine), and 120-B (conspiracy) of the IPC besides under the Prevention of Corruption Act, at the Civil Lines police station, Amritsar.
The petitioner informed the court that neither he was named in the FIR nor was any act attributed to him. He said the trial in the case was likely to take a long time.
The FIR in the case was registered after the preliminary inquiry was conducted by the deputy chief executive officer of the zila parishad, Amritsar, pertaining to the alleged misappropriation of the funds received under the BADP scheme.