Sacked Punjab health minister Singla sent to 14-day judicial custody
Mohali: A Mohali court on Friday sent sacked Punjab health minister Dr Vijay Singla to 14-day judicial custody on graft charges.
On May 25, Dr Singla, along with his OSD Pardeep Kumar, were arrested on corruption charges after chief minister Bhagwant Mann sacked him as he was accused of demanding a 1% commission in tenders and purchases by his department.
Both were produced before the Mohali court after their three-day police remand ended on Friday. Singla’s OSD, too, has been remanded to judicial custody till June 10. The former health minister has now been sent to the Ropar jail. The next date of hearing is June 10.
The court also allowed the police to take Singla’s voice samples, which will be matched with the mobile phone recordings made by the complainant, Rajinder Singh, superintending engineer, posted on deputation in the Punjab Health Systems Corporation.
The investigating officer said that the police have searched room number 203 in Punjab Bhawan, where Singla and his OSD allegedly demanded commission, and some documents related to the case have been seized. The police have procured the CDRs and CCTV footage of the room.
After appearing in the court, Singla told reporters that he has full faith in his party and the judiciary and he will come out clean.
In the FIR, the complainant, Rajinder Singh, stated that in April, Pardeep Kumar asked him to give 2% as commission, i.e. ₹1.16 crore, from the total amount of ₹58 crore, which included ₹41 crore as allotment of construction works and ₹17 crore as payments to contractors.
When the official pleaded against it, the OSD allegedly threatened to destroy his career. Later on May 20, the OSD again asked him to give ₹10 lakh as settlement money and 1% as commission from all projects to the minister in future. To save himself from mental harassment, Rajinder Singh offered ₹5 lakh, stated the FIR.
On May 23, the OSD called the complainant to the secretariat to meet him and the minister and hand over the money. It was then that the official recorded the conversation and handed over the audio clip to his seniors, which then reached the CM.
A case under Sections 7 and 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against Singla and his OSD at the Phase 8 police station in Mohali.
This venerable stone gateway originally signposted the way to the aforementioned pilgrim town. One of the 14 Mughal-era gateways to punctuate the Walled City’s wall, the graceful Ajmeri Gate today is like a queen without her palace.
Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Sanjeev Tomar’s quest ended on May 28, when he and members of his team arrested a man named Hari Om for abducting and killing Choudhary. Tomar, 47, now posted with the crime branch, was a constable at the Badarpur police station when the crime took place in 2007.
The approval for purchasing 89 new fire trucks was sought against the condemnation of 60 fire trucks, which have diesel engines and have reached their expiry time of 10 years, and have to be taken off service.
Vaibhav and Ankush were arrested under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). ED said both are directors of Ram Prakash Jewellers Pvt Ltd, which was raided on June 6. After the searches at premises linked to six people including the jewellery firm’s five directors, ED said it recovered ₹2.85 crore and 133 gold coins, alleging that the gold was from “unexplained sources” and was “secreted” in the properties.
Following the latest notification of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022 in February, the central government directed all states and union territories (UTs) to phase out SUPs in a planned manner by July 1, 2022.