Punjab: VB issues look-out circular against former finance minister Manpreet Badal
The notice has been issued by Punjab’s vigilance department to stop the BJP leader, who withdrew his application for anticipatory bail, from leaving the country
A look-out circular (LOC) was issued against former Punjab finance minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manpreet Singh Badal at all airports by the state Vigilance Bureau on Tuesday.
Badal, who left the Congress for the BJP in January, is facing a criminal and corruption case in the purchase of two plots in Model Town Phase-1, Bathinda.
The case was registered against him under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, besides the Information Technology Act.
The notice has been issued by the vigilance department to stop Manpreet Badal from leaving the country.
Hours after the registration of a criminal case against him by the vigilance bureau, Badal withdrew his application for anticipatory bail on Tuesday. Sukhdeep Singh Bhinder, who represented him in the Bathinda court, said that the five-time legislator will now explore all legal options, including approaching the Punjab and Haryana high court soon.
Badal is among six persons booked for allegedly manipulating the records of the Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) to pocket sites located in the prime location.
The VB has arrested three confidants of Manpreet Badal, who participated in the bidding for the BDA plots. According to the police probe, they were part of the conspiracy to enable Badal to get the plots.The arrested accused are Rajiv Kumar of New Shakti Nagar, Amandeep Singh of Lal Singh Basti, and Vikas Arora of Tagore Nagar.
On Monday, vigilance teams raided various places, including the former minister’s farmhouse at Badal village in Muktsar, but he remained untraceable.
“The anticipatory bail plea was filed in the Bathinda court on September 22 as the VB had not registered any case and we were unaware of it. But as a first information report (FIR) was lodged on Sunday, we had to withdraw the application for pre-arrest as a procedure. Manpreet is exploring legal options available to him. The police investigation and subsequent registration of an FIR shows that it all was done with malafide intentions. We will fight back in court,” said Bhinder.
The case was registered on a complaint by Saroop Chand Singla, former MLA of Bathinda city.
The VB said during the probe, it was found that Manpreet Singh Badal, during his tenure as finance minister between 2018 and 2021, used political pressure and influence to buy two plots measuring 1560 square yards in Model Town Phase-1 Bathinda near the TV tower, causing a loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.
(With ANI inputs)