Chandigarh: The CBI has filed a charge
sheet against Punjab Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon and
14 others in an alleged recruitment scam during his stint as a
Minister in the Punjab government.
"The CBI has filed a charge sheet on July 9 against
the then Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats,
Government of Punjab (now Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha) and 14
others in the court of Special Judge, CBI Cases, Patiala,
Punjab under various sections of IPC and Prevention of
Corruption Act," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.
Those named in the charge sheet include Mandeep Singh,
IAS, the then Director, Rural Development and Panchayats,
Punjab and now Director, Transport, Punjab besides J S Kesar,
IAS (Retired), the then Financial Commissioner, Department of
Rural Development and Panchayats, and Vikas Sharma, Private
Secretary (Retired) to the Minister.
The case was registered on June 26, 2003 against
Kahlon and 13 others on the basis of a complaint from the then
Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab.
"It was alleged in the aforesaid complaint that the
Minister, in conspiracy with other accused persons indulged in
corruption, cheating and forgery of the records in respect of
selection of 909 Panchayat Secretaries during 1997 to 2002 by
abusing their official positions.
"These allegations about selection of Panchayat
Secretaries were also part of the larger case dated June 14,
2002 of Vigilance Bureau, Punjab which had been
charge-sheeted," Bhal said.
He said that the investigation "revealed that large
sums of money changed hands during the selection process.
Though the Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab
was the appointing authority for the post of Panchayat
Secretary, the Minister, his Private Secretary and the
Financial Commissioner of Rural Development and Panchayats,
took undue interest in the matter."
Bhal said informal meetings were held by these
authorities with the Chairmen of 04 Selection Committees, in
which "forgery and destruction of original interview marks
lists was done, in order to select candidates of their
"During the proceedings on a writ petition before the
High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the Punjab Government agreed
to transfer the investigation to CBI and issued the necessary
Notification under the DSPE Act," Bhal said.