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Ludhiana City Centre scam: Case takes new turn after Sandhu’s allegations

Capt Amarinder and other accused had ‘favoured’ a Delhi-based company in executing the real estate project by violating norms in 2003

punjab Updated: Jul 19, 2018 11:33 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ludhiana City Centre scam,SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu,Captain Amarinder Singh
Captain Amarinder Singh and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal (HT File )

The accusation of former vigilance bureau (VB) SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, complainant in the Ludhiana City Centre scam, that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal colluded to settle the cases against each other, has once again brought to the fore the multi-crore scam that kept on rocking the state politics for over a decade. The case has taken an interesting turn even after the VB had filed a closure report after fighting it for more than ten years. Hindustan Times takes a re-look at the entire case:

What is the scam?

During its previous term in 2002-2007, the Captain Amarinder Singh government envisaged Rs 1,144-crore project to develop a multiplex, a mall, leisure parks and other commercial hubs with a rooftop helipad on Pakhowal Road of Ludhiana. As per the FIR registered by VB in 2007, Amarinder and the other accused allegedly favoured a Delhi-based company ‘Today Homes’ in executing the real estate project by violating norms in 2003.

Who are the accused and what are the charges?

The bureau had registered a case in April 2007 against 36 persons, including Amarinder, his son Raninder Singh and son-in-law Raminder Singh, then local bodies minister late Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, former Punjab Congress chief HS Hanspal, then Ludhiana Improvement Trust late chairman Paramjit Singh Sibia and many senior officials. They were booked under various sections of the IPC relating to criminal breach of trust (409), cheating (420), forgery (465), forgery of valuable security (467), forgery for purpose of cheating (468), and using as genuine a forged document (471), criminal conspiracy (120-B), besides the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

What impact did it make on state politics?

The scam was one of the biggest issues that opposition SAD-BJP exploited to grab power in 2007. The case kept on troubling Amarinder during the SAD-BJP’s tenure between 2007 and 2012. As former Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini was the head of the VB at that time, the case kept on hounding Amarinder, with VB vigorously arguing in the court against Amarinder and the other accused. However, in the second tenure of the SAD-BJP between 2007 and 2012, the files of the case fell silent.

How did the case proceed?

The case saw various twists and turns ever since VB registered the case. Amarinder and the other accused regularly appeared before the court in Ludhiana but the matter was repeatedly adjourned. The VB had listed 152 witnesses in the case.

When the VB filed closure report in the case?

It was in August 2017 when VB filed a closure report in the case citing that there was no evidence against Amarinder and the other accused. Incumbent DGP Suresh Arora was chief director, VB, when the closure report was filed in the case.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 11:32 IST