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Amritsar Improvement Trust ‘scam’: Defence withdraws plea to transfer case to senior judge

The vigilance bureau (VB) registered a case against Capt Amarinder Singh and 17 others, alleging a scam in granting exemption to transferring 32.1 acres of prime land of the Amritsar Improvement Trust to a private developer, on the Vidhan Sabha’s recommendation.

punjab Updated: Mar 20, 2018 10:28 IST
Shubkarman Dhaliwal
Shubkarman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Amritsar Improvement Trust ‘scam’,Defence withdraws plea,transfer case
One of the co-accused in the case, Nacchatar Singh, had filed a petition for case transfer from the trial court of additional district and sessions judge Jaswinder Singh.(Representative image )

The defence counsel in the Amritsar Improvement Trust ‘scam’ case, in which Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is a co-accused, on Monday withdrew its application seeking transfer of the case to senior-most additional district and sessions judge in the Mohali district courts.

The defence counsel led by senior advocate APS Deol said there was no solid ground on which the case could be transferred from the present trial court and hence “we withdrew the application”.

One of the co-accused in the case, Nacchatar Singh, had filed a petition for case transfer from the trial court of additional district and sessions judge Jaswinder Singh.

Also, the vigilance bureau filed a report giving replies to the questions the court had raised. The trial court had asked the VB as why there was delay in the clearance of the minutes of the meeting conducted by the former Vidhan Sabha speaker Kewal Krishan.

The VB in its reply said the minutes were cleared with incorrect minutes of which Kewal Krishan took cognizance and thus ordered correction and addition of a few words.

The other objection raised by the court was about the policy rules for allotting the land to a private developer.

Sources said the VB in its reply said the decision for transferring land to the private developer was to be done on the first-come-first-serve basis.By passing a resolution, the AIT can give exemption to acquired land.

‘Bir Devinder not party in case’

Former deputy speaker in the Punjab assembly (during the previous Amarinder Singh government) Bir Devinder had moved a plea urging the special vigilance bureau court not to quash the AIT land scam case against the CM and others.

The state in its reply on Monday said he is not an affected party in the case.

The alleged scam

The vigilance bureau (VB) registered a case against Capt Amarinder Singh and 17 others, alleging a scam in granting exemption to transferring 32.1 acres of prime land of the Amritsar Improvement Trust to a private developer, on the Vidhan Sabha’s recommendation.

On the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directions, issued on December 22, 2014, the VB had constituted a special task force (SIT) to conduct a fresh investigation.

This investigation concluded that the allegations pertaining to tampering with Vidhan Sabha records, misuse of power and illegality in exemption of land, tampering with Trust records and corruption could not be proved.

The VB has now filed a cancellation report in the Mohali court saying all accused be discharged. The court had sent back the report in August last year asking the agency to re-investigate some points.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 10:28 IST