Punjab Police have finally secured permission to prosecute former agriculture director Mangal Singh Sandhu in the pesticide scam.
The police on Monday filed a supplementary challan in the court of additional district and sessions judge, SAS Nagar, Tarsem Mangla, against Sandhu, who had been booked following irregularities in the purchase of pesticides.
A fact-finding report had claimed that Sandhu had ordered the purchase of a pesticide worth Rs 14 crore without following the procedure causing a loss of Rs 6.86 crore to the department. The case was registered at the state crime branch in SAS Nagar in October 2015.
Sandhu was booked after whitefly attack on cotton crop due to spurious pesticides. Cotton on over two-third of the total 4.5-lakh hectares was affected due to the whitefly attack. The total loss was ₹4,000 crore, which triggered farmer suicides in the state’s cotton belt.
The police had earlier filed a challan without seeking permission to prosecute Sandhu.
The case would now come up for hearing on March 3. The court is yet to frame charges against Sandhu.