A local court has indicted Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) for “shoddy investigation” in a graft case and said its officials “made an accused a witness” in order to save him.
The man who benefited is deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) Jaspinder Singh, influential close relative of a deputy inspector general (DIG) in the bureau.
The corruption case relates to the arrest of Jaspinder’s private driver, Rishipal Singh, in 2014 on the complaint of a transporter. It was proved that the driver took money on behalf of the DETC, who was then assistant excise taxation commissioner (AETC) in Patiala, but vigilance DSP KD Sharma didn’t name him in the charge sheet.
Holding the driver guilty of accepting Rs 20,000 as bribe from complainant Sukhdev Singh on the officer’s behalf, additional district and sessions judge Parminder Singh Grewal sentenced him to five-year imprisonment and called the vigilance bureau investigation “shoddy”. The judge observed that instead of naming AETC as accused, the DSP concerned “made him a prosecution witness”.
The court has already ordered the public prosecutor to get the mandatory prosecution sanction under the Prevention of Corruption Act. “The DETC was not challaned as accused by the prosecution, and no sanction for his prosecution was obtained by DSP KD Sharma during the course of the investigation. In the absence of the sanction to prosecute him, Jaspinder Singh was not summoned to face trial and the prosecution directed to obtain the sanction,” observed the judge. “As and when the sanction is received against AETC Jaspinder Singh, he will be prosecuted.”