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Bribery allegations a conspiracy against me: Buta Singh

Last Updated: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:29

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Mumbai: Former Union minister Buta Singh on Friday described the bribery allegations against his son as a “conspiracy” against him, saying a Maharashtra-based political party was behind the entire incident.

Buta’s son Sarabjot alias Sweety Singh was placed under arrest by the anti-corruption wing of the CBI early Friday, after he was caught allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1 crore from a Nashik-based contractor Ramraj Patil on Thursday.

Buta however claimed innocence for his son, saying Patil was the biggest builder mafia in Maharashtra and that he tried to set up his son on instructions from the political party, which he did not name.

Reports even said today quoting sources that Sarabjot has admitted to his involvement in the bribery scam. He had earlier claimed innocence, saying it was a conspiracy against him and that he was being framed.

According to CBI sources, the corruption case against Sarabjot involves a complaint filed by Nashik-based civic works contractor Ramraj Patil.

Patil had alleged in his complaint that Sarabjot had demanded a bribe of Rs 3 crore, which was later brought down to Rs 1 crore, for withdrawal of a case under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, filed against Patil by a group of local conservancy workers employed by him.

Patil is a contractor with Nashik Municipal Corporation. Around 100 of the conservancy workers employed by him filed the case as he was allegedly not paying them their wages and had taken a bank loan of Rs 10 crore in their name.

Sarabjot, reported to be in touch with the aggrieved conservancy workers, approached Patil with an offer to withdraw the case against him in return for Rs 3 crore, the investigators alleged.

After some haggling, Patil promised to cough out Rs 1 crore but also informed the CBI about Sarabjot’s alleged demand.

Patil has even claimed that Sarabjot was acting on the behalf of his father Buta Singh, who is the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

In the wake of the arrest, the opposition is calling for Buta Singh`s resignation from the Commission.

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde said, "Buta Singh must resign immediately."

(With IANS/ANI inputs)

First Published: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:29
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