The Punjab vigilance department on Wednesday submitted its charge-sheet in the multi-billion Ludhiana City Centre scam, accusing former Congress chief minister Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh and 34 others of receiving kickbacks worth millions of rupees in allotting the project to a particular company.
The 130-page charge-sheet was submitted by senior vigilance bureau officers in the court of District and Sessions Judge GK Rai. The matter will now be taken up Friday.
The charge-sheet has named 36 people, also including former local bodies minister Jagjit Singh and former Ludhiana improvement trust chairman P.S. Sibia. They have been charged with corruption, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
Touted as the biggest commercial centre in Asia, the Ludhiana City Centre (LCC) was at the centre of controversy after the vigilance wing of the Punjab police booked Amarinder Singh and 35 others for swindling money in the project.
The case was filed soon after the Akali Dal government took charge in Punjab last March with Parkash Singh Badal as chief minister.
The vigilance has pegged the loss to the state at over Rs.30 billion in giving the project to Delhi-based Today's Homes and Infrastructure. It pointed out that the Amarinder Singh government allotted the project to this company at much lower rates, causing loss to the state.
Vigilance officials also questioned Amarinder Singh for several hours earlier this year. While the former chief minister claimed that he had replied to all their questions, the officials maintained that he gave no satisfactory answers.
The former chief minister, in a statement Wednesday, described the charge-sheet as a "bundle of lies".
"It is good that the case is before the court and out of the hands of the vigilance. We will now prove what kind of liars the Badals are," Amarinder Singh said.
He said that the whole case was owing to political vendetta since he had got Badal and his son booked in cases of corruption and disproportionate assets in 2002.