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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Justice Narang submits report to CM Amarinder on sand mining auctions

Contents kept confidential, CM marks report to chief secretary and asks him to revert within two weeks

punjab Updated: Aug 10, 2017 20:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
Justice Narang met the chief minister at the latter’s official residence this morning and handed over the report.
Justice Narang met the chief minister at the latter’s official residence this morning and handed over the report.(HT Photo)

The Justice JS Narang Commission probing allegations of irregularities in the sand mining auctions in Punjab submitted its report to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday.

The CM had ordered constitution of the one-man commission in May this year following allegations of impropriety against power and irrigation minister Rana Gurjit Singh in the sand mining auctions.

Justice Narang met Amarinder at his (CM’s) official residence in the morning and handed over the report. “The CM has marked the report to the chief secretary and asked him to revert with his comments within two weeks,” said an official spokesperson.

When contacted, Justice Narang refused to discuss the contents of his report, calling it “confidential”. The inquiry commission was mandated to probe all aspects of the allegations of impropriety against the minister in the controversial auctions.

It was tasked with inquiring whether the terms and conditions of the bid were adhered to while awarding the tender of two mines to ex-employees of the minister and whether Gurjit Singh had in any manner influenced the price bid at which these two mines were awarded, and if the bidders were bidding on behalf of the minister in question for the said two mines.

The commission was also asked to inquire whether the minister has received any undue financial benefit or gain from the award of such two mines to the bidders and if there has been any loss to the state revenue by the award of such two mines to the bidders at the price in question.

The Congress government, which took over in March 2017, was rocked by the allegations of irregularities when it came out that some former employees of the minister had got sand mining contracts in the auction held by the department of mining. The opposition parties, especially the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), straightaway went after the state government, demanding the minister’s resignation. When the government set up the commission, they rejected inquiry, calling it “eyewash”.