Jang-e-Azadi memorial probe: HC stays arrest of Hamdard - Hindustan Times
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Jang-e-Azadi memorial probe: HC stays arrest of Hamdard

Jun 01, 2024 07:26 AM IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the arrest of Barjinder Singh Hamdard, managing editor of Ajit Group of Newspapers, booked by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for the alleged misappropriation of funds in the construction and running of Jang-e-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur in Jalandhar

Chandigarh : The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the arrest of Barjinder Singh Hamdard, managing editor of Ajit Group of Newspapers, booked by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for the alleged misappropriation of funds in the construction and running of Jang-e-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur in Jalandhar.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the arrest of Barjinder Singh Hamdard, managing editor of Ajit Group of Newspapers, booked by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for the alleged misappropriation of funds in the construction and running of Jang-e-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur in Jalandhar.
The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the arrest of Barjinder Singh Hamdard, managing editor of Ajit Group of Newspapers, booked by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for the alleged misappropriation of funds in the construction and running of Jang-e-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur in Jalandhar.

The order was passed by the high court bench of justice Vinod S Bhardwaj on the plea from Hamdard, seeking transfer of the case to an independent agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), alleging that he was being “falsely dragged in a controversy”.

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Hamdard, who was instrumental in the conception and construction of the project since 2012, quit as member secretary of the Jang-e-Azadi Memorial Foundation and as its managing committee president on April 10, blaming the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government of “repeatedly maligning the name of the memorial by sending police and vigilance teams”.

The VB had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other sections on May 22 against Hamdard, IAS officer Viney Bublani and 24 others.

The VB had also arrested 15 people — Ludhiana-based builder Deepak Singal and 14 PWD officials —in the case. The case pertains to alleged misappropriation of funds in the construction of 315-crore Jang-e-Azadi Memorial at Kartarpur in Jalandhar.

Seeking response from the Punjab government by July 18, the court has restrained the police from arresting him, said lawyers associated with the case. A detailed order is awaited.

Senior advocate RS Cheema with R Kartikeya had appeared for Hamdard.

The plea said the government move was to compel him to “succumb to the government pressure and publish their paid news/advertisements in the form of news articles and thereby forgo his ethics in a bid of the state to spread misinformation and influence the electorate”.

Hamdard further submitted that he had agreed to take up the job despite his professional constraints and was successful in the construction of memorial to honour the freedom fighters of the state. “The present government, however, started targeting the petitioner to settle their personal scores by conducting a roving and fishing enquiry in the construction and running of the memorial by illegally targeting the petitioner for extraneous consideration,” the plea further alleged.

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