Eleven years after he was booked on the charges of demanding illegal gratification, 67-year-old Raj Pal Singla, who retired as an additional superintendent engineer of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), was acquitted as the vigilance bureau could not prove that he had demanded a bribe.
Additional district and sessions judge Jaswinder Sheemar, in an order dated October 21, also acquitted Singla as there were discrepancies in the statement of witnesses.
Vigilance sleuths had in September 2002 booked Singla on a complaint by Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Patiala and a partner of SAS Nagar-based company BD Engineering.
Bhupinder had alleged that Singla had been demanding an illegal gratification of Rs. 20,000 for waiving off a penalty imposed by the electricity department for stealing power.
Singla said that he had found the firm stealing energy by reversing the connections to the meter in connivance with local officials of the PSEB.
The court in its order acquitting Singla, (the detailed copy was made available now), said, “There was no occasion to demand illegal gratification of Rs. 20,000. The accused had no authority to waive off the penalty therefore he cannot be said to have demanded bribe to waive off the same.”