The Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has refused to register cases against its own employees who were indicted in an inquiry for abuse of power. Returning the file to the home secretary, Punjab, the department has said the case did not fall under its purview.
Incidentally, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had ordered the registration of an FIR (first information report) in the case. “It’s a case of abuse of power and framing up an innocent, which does not fall in the jurisdiction of the vigilance department. The matter should be refereed to general police,” said the department in its answer.
The case relates to an falsely implicating revenue patwari Mohan Singh in a corruption case pertaining to the paddy scam in Punsup (Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation). Shiv Kumar Sharma, the then senior superintendent of police (SSP), VB, Patiala range, VB joint director Surinder Pal Singh, SSPs Jaspal Singh and Surjit Singh Grewal, superintendent of police (SP) Banarsi Das and inspector Isher Singh were indicted in an inquiry conducted by Kahan Singh Pannu, then chief minister’s special principal secretary.
As per the probe report, Mohan had been ‘punished’ because he had demanded mandatory fee of Rs 20 for land mutation from Shiv Kumar Sharma. Pannu had conducted the probe following a complaint from the Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, which had met the chief secretary in March. He had submitted the probe report to the chief secretary in April.
DS Bains, secretary, home and justice, confirmed that the vigilance department had refused to register the case and returned the file. Bains said, “To comply with the orders of the chief minister and to punish the guilty officers, the file is now forwarded to the director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini to register the case.” He said that within a day or two the case would be registered.