The court of the judicial magistrate (first class), Talwandi Sabo, on Monday remanded Mangal Singh Sandhu, suspended director, agriculture, Punjab, in three-day police custody in the pesticide scam.
While being produced in the court, Sandhu said the matter was pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court. Sandhu’s counsel Chhinderpal Singh Brar asked why the state government had not brought to the court’s notice the ‘findings’ against Sandhu during arguments on the petition filed by him in the high court against his removal from the director’s post.
Meanwhile, the Bathinda police on Monday arrested Ankush Kumar, owner of Ganesh Chemicals, a fertiliser manufacturing firm at Bhawanigarh in Sangrur district, for allegedly supplying spurious fertilisers.
Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said the firm used to supply spurious zinc sulphate to the other accused. Ankush’s name has been added to the FIR registered at Rama police station last month.
Bhatti said Sandhu had been arrested after his name was revealed by one of the arrested accused, Vijay Kumar, who claimed that Sandhu had accepted Rs 8-lakh bribe for allowing him to sell spurious pesticides.
The police had registered a case against Vijay Kumar and Shubham Goyal under the Essential Commodities Act, Control of Fertilisers Act, Insecticides Act and sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after officials of the agriculture department and police raided three godowns of a pesticide and fertiliser firm on September 2. The samples recovered had failed the quality test. Agriculture development officers Bharat Bhushan and Surinder Kumar have already been suspended for dereliction in duty in this regard.