CBI files charge sheet against Punjab Assembly Speaker
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Last Updated: Friday, July 09, 2010, 23:56
  
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 choice." m

"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.

PTI


First Published: Friday, July 09, 2010, 23:56


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