Doubting a fair probe by the Vigilance Bureau into the embezzlement of government grants in the Attari assembly constituency of former minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, a public interest litigation has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking investigation from the Central Bureau of Investigation or Central Vigilance Commission.
It has been stated since a huge amount and a former minister of the ruling coalition is involved, there are less chances of a fair investigation by the Vigilance Bureau.
In August, Hindustan Times had exposed the scam that ran into crores of rupees after which the chief minister handed over investigation to the Vigilance Bureau. Ranike, a senior Akali leader, had on September 16 resigned from the state cabinet on "moral grounds".
The petitioner, Hari Singh Nagra of Dera Bassi, has submitted that there was huge embezzlement of grants in the departments of animal husbandry and welfare of Scheduled Caste and backward classes, the portfolios held by Ranike.
The petition filed through advocate Sarbjit Singh Khaira would come up for hearing on Friday before the division bench, comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain.
It has been petitioned that during Ranike's tenure as minister in 2007-08, a scam took place in the distribution of border area development programme amounting to lakhs of rupees but the FIR was registered on May 22, 2011, and no investigation has taken place for the last year and a half because of his deemed involvement.
Again, a scam came to light and an FIR was registered on June 25 for the embezzlement of rural development fund in which Rs 1.15 crore was involved. "Ranike has not been interrogated despite the FIRs, which were registered in Amritsar," the petitioner said.
The petition states that bogus bank accounts were opened in the Amritsar city bank and Ranike's personal assistant Sarbhdyal Singh, who is on the run, collected cheques from block development and panchayat officers of Attari constituency allegedly at the behest of Ranike. Gurinder Pal Singh, Ranike's son, had also collected cheques but was never interrogated either.