The Punjab and Haryana high court has allowed the Punjab Vigilance Bureau to open a 2007 complaint against former sub divisional officer (SDO) of the Ludhiana municipal corporation whereby he was accused of amassing assets disproportionate to his known source of income.
The HC bench of justice Kuldip Singh was hearing a plea of Santosh Kumar, ex-SDO, who had approached court in 2007 alleging victimisation claiming that he had been probed several times but exonerated in each probe but VB had again initiated an inquiry. The HC had stayed proceedings on the complaint the same year. He retired in 2010.
In 2005-06, he was probed thrice for amassing alleged disproportionate assets but got a clean chit in every probe. He was accused of having a dairy farm on 2,000 yards and with 200 cows and tyre-tube factorywith annual turnover of Rs 2 crore. In the 2007 complaint, fresh allegations were levelled against him of having an apple orchard worth Rs 80 Lakh in Himachal Pradesh and starting a liquor unit with a cost of Rs 1 crore in Samrala, in which his wife was the managing director.
The bench said allegations of having dairy farm and tyre-tube factory had been already investigated. Hence, the same cannot be re-investigated . It said allegations of orchard and liquor unit are new which were never inquired. “The allegations are of amassing the properties worth crores and this court, at this stage, cannot say that the complaint is false and that the inquiry is malicious,” the bench said, allowing the VB to probe the allegations and complete the probe within six months.