It's a tale of two U-turns. The Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) first arrested a Punjab Civil Service (PCS) officer for taking bribe and then filed a case closure report citing "no evidence". After the court rejected the report, the VB has now sought the state government's sanction to prosecute the accused.
The VB had arrested TK Goyal, then joint secretary in the Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes (SC/BC) welfare department, in September 2010 under sections 7 and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. He was caught red-handed in his office at the civil secretariat here while accepting Rs 50,000 as bribe from a complainant. As per the latter's complaint, Goyal had demanded Rs 1 lakh for issuing him an SC certificate.
Goyal, who was released on bail within 13 days of his arrest, filed an application with then VB chief director Sumedh Singh Saini (now director general of police, Punjab), pleading innocence.
The VB authorities submitted a case closure report in the SAS Nagar court on March 3, 2012, claiming that there was no evidence against the accused.
Rejecting the report on November 3, 2012, the court said, "When the VB has found that the raid conducted was successful, the cancellation report should not have been presented on the ground that the 'motive for demand of bribe is weak'."
The court also observed, "Once the VB has declared that its raid is successful, they should have referred the matter to the competent authority for obtaining sanction for prosecution of the accused."
The VB, which was then directed to conduct further probe into the matter, has now concluded that the documents on the basis of which the cancellation report was drafted were "tampered with".
A senior VB officer confirmed that the bureau had written to the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Chandigarh, to lodge an FIR against Goyal for allegedly fabricating documents and misleading the VB in order to get the case closed.
As per the cancellation report, Goyal had submitted a document in which a committee of the SC/BC welfare department had denied the issuance of the SC certificate to the complainant on August 26, 2010, a fortnight before the officer's arrest.
During the court proceedings, the complainant had challenged the report as "wrong and illegal", pointing out that the space for signatures of two of the three panel members deciding the issuance of the SC certificate was blank and left unsigned. Upholding the observation, the court had rejected the report.