After exhausting all options of bail, former Punjab principal secretary Swaran Singh surrendered at around 2pm on Monday in the court of additional district and sessions judge Avtar Singh, who remanded him in judicial ccustody till May 31.
Swaran Singh was wanted by vigilance bureau in a case of embezzlement of Rs 1.96 crore during celebration of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh birth centenary in September 2008 in Khatkar Kalan, the native village of the martyr.
The former principal secretary was taken to the civil hospital for a medical check-up after the court proceedings ended.
The issue of embezzlement of funds had come to light after a Nawanshahr-based NGO 'HELP' procured information related to expenditure incurred on the celebrations through the RTI Act.
HELP then approached the VB with a complaint for an inquiry into the matter. The vigilance inquiry which reportedly took nearly 14 months, had accused the event organiser Punjab Arts Council (PAC) of misappropriation of funds. Swaran Singh was the chairman of the PAC. Besides, Swaran Singh, the VB had named Sanjay Gera, Vikas Mehra and Satvir Bajwa as co-accused in the FIR.
As per HELP general secretary Parvinder Kittna, the PAC had used some bogus quotations in order to benefit an entertainment firm 'GM Entertainment' raised by Sanjay Gera and Vikas Mehra of Faridabad, Haryana.
The PAC had engaged GM Entertainment to bring Bollywood artistes to the event. The company pretended to have paid the performers and even some non-performers a much higher amount
than the actual expenses. The artists who were shown as having been "paid" but never attended the event included Ajay Devgnn and Daler Mehndi.
Fourth accused Satvir Bajwa is still at large while Sanjay Gera and Vikas Mehra were arrested by the VB in February this year.
Meanwhile, Parvinder Kittna has urged the state government to order an enquiry into a similar function held in 2007 in Amritsar as part of Bhagat Singh's centenary celebrations. A sum of Rs 2.75 crore was reportedly spent on this function, said Kittna.