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Punjab vigilance bureau books Badal aide Kolianwali in disproportionate assets case

Akali leader allegedly spent Rs 4.10 crore on moveable and immoveable properties between 2009 and 2014, which was more than 70% of his actual earning.

punjab Updated: Jul 01, 2018 22:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Akali leader,disproportionate assets,Punjab vigilance bureau
Senior Akali leader Dyal Singh Kolianwali (Facebook)

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Sunday registered a case against Akali leader and former member of the Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board (PSSSB) Dyal Singh Kolianwali on charges of having amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The VB also charged Kolianwali, also former chairman of the Punjab Agro Industries, for amassing wealth by allegedly misusing his official position during the 10-year rule of the Akali-BJP government between 2007 and 2017.

The VB chose the period between 2009 and 2014 for investigation during which Kolianwali — a confidant of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal — was holding key posts, said the spokesperson, adding that he had a total income of Rs 2.39 crore. During the check period, accused had allegedly spent Rs 4.10 crore on various moveable and immoveable properties, including other expenditures, which was more than 70% of his actual earning, the spokesperson said.

The case has been registered under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act at the VB police station in Mohali and investigation were under progress, the spokesperson said. Kolianwali is yet to be arrested.

VB superintendent of police Bhupinder Singh said raids are on to arrest Kolianwali. The VB will also take details of his properties and the money he spent. “We will search his farmhouse to corroborate the evidence,” he said, clarifying that Kolianwali’s son or nephew has not been named in the case.

Kolianwali, a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) from Lambi, the home constituency of Badal, came in contact with the former CM as a sarpanch of Kolianwali village. Coming from a humble background, Kolianwali climbed the social and political ladder and became the trusted aide of the Badals. He was also in the race to become the SGPC president three years ago when the Akali dispensation wanted to remove Avtar Singh Makkar from the post. But Kirpal Singh Badungar was chosen over Kolianwali. He also remained an executive member and vice-president of the SGPC.

During investigation, the VB found that Kolianwali misused his official position for transfer of employees with collusion of government officials and then allegedly collected money with the help of illegal elements, the spokesperson said. The VB found that Kolianwali amassed properties, hotels, agricultural farms in Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, the spokesman said.

“The accused is living a royal life. He and his family are staying in a palatial house built on a 5-acre farmhouse. A road laid by the Mandi Board leads to his house. He also spent lavishly on his son’s wedding recently,” said the spokesperson.

In April, after Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa took over as the Punjab cooperation minister, the department started proceedings to recover Rs 91 lakh that Kolianwali owed to the Punjab Agricultural Development, Malout. Initially, Kolianwali was reluctant to pay the loan, but when arrest warrants were issued against him, the pending amount was paid.

Meanwhile, SAD spokesman and former education minister Daljit Singh Cheema termed the registration of case against Kolianwali political vendetta.

In a statement issued here, he said: “How can a government agency book a person without calling him for verification? It’s sheer political vendetta.” The government booked him (Kolianwali) in order to divert attention from the burning issues like drug menace and sand mining, said Cheema.

First Published: Jul 01, 2018 19:32 IST