A lowly clerk who rose to become a coloniser with properties worth many crores, master conman Davinder Singh Gill was hugely sought after by a host of senior Punjab police officers. His shady past and equally shady land deals have brought under the spotlight an unholy nexus involving senior cops.
Living under multiple identities, obtaining fake matriculation certificates and leading a kingsize life, Davinder was also the key conspirator of a Rs. 1.5 crore bribery scandal that the CBI had exposed in May 2011 that had rocked the political career of frontline Punjab BJP leaders even as they were given a clean chit by the investigating agency.
As per the CBI records, this conman is known as Davinder Singh, Davinder Singh Gill, Davinder Thapar and Davinder Thapa. His two matriculation certificates are in the name of Davinder Thapar, son of Tarun Bahadur, born on November 4, 1976, and also Davinder Singh Gill, son of Mehar Singh, with date of birth as April 4, 1978.
According to his alleged second wife Kricpy Khera, who is now on the forefront of all his legal skirmishes, including against the once-trusted-friend-turned-foe and Punjab police inspector general Gautam Cheema, the parents of her husband died when he was a toddler. “He was adopted by one Thapar family,” she says.
Davinder, who is cooling his heels again in a jail, had begun displaying his manipulative skills from a very young age. First he secured two matriculation certificates from Punjab School Education Board and got the job of a clerk in Punjab government on compassionate grounds in 1997 after the death of his father Tarun Bahadur. He joined as clerk in the industries department and later was shifted to the office of the registrar of firms and societies.
According to police officers involved in the investigations into Davinder’s various offences, he quit the government job and jumped into the real estate business. A high-end Chandigarh-based gymnasium known for highheeled clients became his favourite hunting ground and he came close to a section of well-placed officers, mainly from the police, and spread his wings in realty.
In a short span, he earned such wealth that he is said to own property in prime locations around Chandigarh and has a palatial house in Mohali decorated expensively.
THE RIGHT CIRCLE, PARTIES AND HOLIDAYS
He frequently holidayed and partied with several officers who were also his clients, including Punjab-cadre IG-rank IPS officer Rakesh Chandra. His wealth swelled so much that, as per his wife Kricpy, he owned luxury vehicles such as Audi and Porsche. “My husband is a stylish but simple person who owned lots of things apart from these expensive cars, which have been forcibly taken away by IG Gautam Cheema,” Kricpy alleges.
Cheema and Davinder, Kricpy says, became friends when the police officer was posted in Khanna. “IG Cheema brought clients, including police officers,” she alleges, saying that many police and civil officers frequented their Mohali house often where Davinder threw parties. In fact, for IG Cheema the Mohali house of Davinder was a favourite rendezvous point, it is learnt. It was the result of close association between Davinder and Cheema that a dozen-odd senior police officers of Punjab allegedly directly or indirectly invested crores in a Palm City project of Davinder in New Chandigarh (Mullanpur) where each shareholder was given a 2.5-acre farmhouse in a project spread across 34 acres.
THE CBI CASE
Three years back, at the core of the CBI’s case was an alleged note of the then BJP minister Swarna Ram, written in Punjabi, merely acknowledging the complaint of a faction (led by one Manmohan Singh) of the Punjab Automobile Mechanic Association and addressed to Manoranjan Kalia. The CBI had acted after receiving a complaint on April 29, 2011 from Manpreet Singh, general secretary of the association’s other faction, after Davinder Singh told Manpreet that the Manmohan faction had lodged a complaint against them. Manpreet had alleged that Davinder was demanding Rs. 2crore bribe, allegedly for BJP ministers.
In secretly recorded conversations, Davinder had said that Swarna Ram had written to Kalia to change the governing body of the association and that a case be registered against association members for embezzlement of funds. Davinder had alleged that Swarna Ram had sent this note to Kalia for necessary action as the matter pertained to the industries department. Neither was the note sent to Kalia nor its contents matched with the story Davinder weaved. The CBI questioned Kalia and Swarna and found nothing against them. But Kalia has been in political wilderness since then.