Corruption charges: VB denies political vendetta against Ashu - Hindustan Times
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Corruption charges: VB denies political vendetta against Ashu

Jul 27, 2022 01:05 AM IST

Chandigarh: Refuting allegations of political vendetta, the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the complaint against former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu was received during the previous Congress government’s tenure

Chandigarh: Refuting allegations of political vendetta, the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the complaint against former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu was received during the previous Congress government’s tenure.

Refuting allegations of political vendetta, the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the complaint against former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu was received during the previous Congress government’s tenure.
Refuting allegations of political vendetta, the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the complaint against former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu was received during the previous Congress government’s tenure.

Ashu, who was the minister of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs in the previous Congress government, is accused of corruption in awarding tenders for transportation of food grains.

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Some people had moved a complaint against the petitioner (Ashu) and others and it was received by VB on March 2, 2022. After examining the contents of the complaint on June 13, it was marked for verification, said Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu, senior superintendent of police (VB, Ludhiana range) in response to the plea filed by Ashu.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed the government in Punjab in mid-March.

Ashu had approached high court seeking directions to state police to conduct a “fair and proper inquiry” into corruption allegations against him and grant him opportunity of hearing before registration of a criminal case. The plea further demanded that he be given seven-day notice in the event of police’s plan to arrest him. He had claimed that the investigation is result of political vendetta by the AAP government.

The affidavit of VB further says that prime facie existence of material in the allegations levelled in the complaint are of amendment in labour, cartage and transportation policy for selected people, allotment of tender at higher rates instead of basic rates to their near and dear contractors while accepting forged documents in support of tenders and collection of bribe money by the petitioner through his agents in pursuance of criminal conspiracy of one another, which are being verified by the bureau, it added.

Denying allegations of “revengeful political vendetta”, the affidavit further says the scope of Section 17 A, of the Prevention of Corruption Act is specifically confined to any recommendation made or decision taken by the public servant, which alone falls within the protection under section 17A. The case of offences like misappropriation of funds, frauds, falsification of accounts, criminal breach of trust etc cannot be covered by the protection under Section 17A, because they do not involve any decision or recommendation at all, the affidavit says, arguing that his case was not covered under this section of PC Act, wherein prior sanction from the competent authority is required before initiating a probe.

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