City Centre case: Architect files second petition challenging closure report
Ludhiana Even as the arguments by the prosecution in favour of the closure report filed by the Vigilance Bureau in the City Centre scam have concluded, one of the prosecution witnesses in the case, project’s architect SK Dey, has for the second time moved a protest petition in the court of district and sessions judge Gurbir Singh. The court heard the arguments on Wednesday and has reserved the decision for November 8.
In the 64-page petition, SK Dey has said that the charges were serious in nature. “The offences committed are of serious nature and the conspiracy to commit the offences is deep-rooted to cause loss to the government, the trust and the public at large,” Dey says.
The VB had registered a case in March 2007 and filed the closure report in a Ludhiana court in 2017. In the case, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh, and former local bodies minister late Jagjit Singh, were among those named as accused for allegedly causing monetary losses to the state by awarding the construction contract of the mega project to a Delhi-based construction company.
Dey has already been examined by the prosecution and made a witness.
It has been stated by Dey that the investigating agency (Vigilance Bureau) is under the direct control of the executive and political dispensation, which amounts to conflict of interest. “It has been prayed to reject the closure report,” he has said.
The petitioner submitted its designs and drawings which were adopted by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for the proposed City Centre project. He states that M/s Today Homes, after having entered into the said concession agreement and taken the possession of the site from the LIT, tried to make illegal changes in the approved design.
“The statement of the witnesses produced with the chargesheet may be considered in detail in juxtaposition to the meagre, weak and cursory evidence with the closure report. The court may proceed with the case in accordance with the law after rejecting the closure report,” the petitioner says.
Pleas challenging the closure report
Ever since the closure report in the City Centre case was filed, four applications have been filed challenging the clean chit to accused, including two by then senior VB investigators, all of which have been dismissed. The sessions court had dismissed applications by Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains and architect SK Dey. Later, applications by then vigilance SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu and former Punjab DGP (then vigilance director) Sumedh Singh Saini were also dismissed. Both cops had appealed that the court should hear them once before accepting the closure report and expressed to share some ‘case facts’ in ‘sealed envelope’.