Raids at Ludhiana Improvement Trust office after complaint of poll code violation

As per the complaint received by the office of Ludhiana deputy commissioner-cum-district election officer (DEO) Varinder Sharma, Ludhiana Improvement Trust officials issued work orders of around 10 crore after the poll code came into force on January 8
A flying squad during raids at Ludhiana Improvement Trust office in Ludhiana on Tuesday after allegations of poll code violations. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
A flying squad during raids at Ludhiana Improvement Trust office in Ludhiana on Tuesday after allegations of poll code violations. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Published on Jan 12, 2022 12:51 AM IST
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By, Ludhiana

Following a complaint that the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) had allegedly issued work orders of around 10 crore after the model code of conduct came into force on January 8, a team from the district administration raided the office on Tuesday.

The team is said to have gone through the office records and examined the closed-circuit television camera footage. The team is also said to have acquired footage of the ground-level inspections carried out by the LIT since January 6.

As per the complaint received by the office of deputy commissioner-cum-district election officer (DEO) Varinder Sharma, LIT officials were present in the office on January 8 and 9 and they had allegedly approved work orders worth 10 crore, by making back date entries.

Sharma has summoned the dispatch register of LIT and marked the inquiry to additional deputy commissioner (general) Rahul Chaba in the matter.

It is learnt that an initial complaint in the case was made by a resident, Karamjit Dhariwal. However SAD leader and candidate from Ludhiana West Harish Rai Dhanda also filed a complaint in this regard and sought an FIR against LIT chairman.

Dhanda said the dispatch clerk resides in Pathankot and was not in the city when the work orders were issued after imposition of poll code. “There were many other discrepancies. Development works were approved from the constituency of cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and MLA Sanjay Talwar to benefit them in the upcoming elections. I have sought an FIR against chairman, Ashu, Talwar and all other officials involved in this unlawful activity,” said Dhanda.

LIT chairman Raman Balasubramaniam refuted the allegations and said misinformation is being floated by some “persons with vested interests”.

He said, “The LIT staff was present in the office on January 8 to complete the formalities for the draw of lots of Atal Apartments scheme, which was scheduled to be held on January 10. After the model code was imposed on January 8, they also had to apprise the applicants about the postponement of the draw. The inquiry officer can check the record and footage, but nothing wrong has been done. As a similar complaint was also submitted with the local bodies department, a reply has also been submitted to the principal secretary of the local bodies department.”

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Saturday, January 29, 2022