Punjab Assembly Speaker acquitted in recruitment scam case

A special court here on Wednesday acquitted Punjab Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon in a case relating to alleged recruitment scam in the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats.

Updated: May 18, 2011, 23:02 PM IST

Mohali: A special court here on Wednesday acquitted
Punjab Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon in a case relating
to alleged recruitment scam in the Department of Rural
Development and Panchayats when Kahlon was its Minister from
1997-2002 but flayed the investigation office who had
conducted the probe.
Kahlon was acquitted due to lack of evidence to establish
the charges framed against him.

The court also acquitted Deputy Director of the
Department J P Singla.

Special Judge Rajinder Aggarwal ordered that since there
is no evidence against the accused which may require recording
of their statements under Section 313 CrPC, the accused are
acquitted.

Concluding that the IO in the case Surinderpal Singh, who
was the then Superintendent of Police, Economic Offences Wing
in Punjab Vigilance Bureau, has failed to conduct a proper
investigation into the case, the court ruled that another
allegation of misusing the funds allotted to various village
panchayats against Kahlon is "ridiculous and absurd".
In this case, the IO has not conducted a fair, proper and
effective investigation into the case. In such sensitive
matters, the investigation must be of that standard which is
expected in such cases, he said while ruling out initiation of
perjury proceedings against the witnesses who turned hostile
in the case.

He, however, made out a case against the DDPOs concerned
for making illegal appointments, for which the Vigilance
Bureau was asked to launch prosecution against them.

The Vigilance Bureau had charged Kahlon with making
recruitment to the posts of panchayat secretaries, tax
collectors, patwaris, clerks and peons in his department in an
illegal manner after accepting huge amount from the
appointees.

PTI