Sarabdyal Singh, former personal assistant (PA) of erstwhile Punjab animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike and key accused in the border area development programme (BADP) fund scam, approached the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday, seeking bail.
Taking up his petition, the court headed by justice Paramjeet Singh issued a notice of motion to the Punjab government for filing its reply by March 21.
The petitioner is in central jail, Amritsar, since the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) arrested him on October 20 last year from Nainital (Uttarakhand). He was on the run after the trial court had issued non-bailable warrants against him for allegations of embezzlement of funds.
In his petition, Sarabdyal submitted that he had no role in the encashing of 12 cheques through dummy bank accounts which were meant for development works in the Attari assembly constituency, as alleged. He also submitted that it had been more than four months since he had been under custody.
Ranike had resigned as cabinet minister on September 16, 2012, after HT had exposed the BADP fund scam worth crores of rupees in August last year in a series of news stories.
The VB has already informed the high court that Sarabdyal had accumulated assets worth Rs 2.56 crore from the embezzled amount between July 2008 and September 2012. Earlier, the high court had dismissed his petition seeking anticipatory bail.
The VB has already presented the challan in the case in the Amritsar trial court. Now, arguments will start for framing of charges against the accused.