Punjab: CBI arrests BJP MLA in graft case

Last Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 19:37

Chandigarh: In an embarrassment to the
ruling SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, the CBI on Thursday arrested BJP
MLA from Rajpura, Raj Khurana, who is also the Chief
Parliamentary Secretary of the state, and a government
official for allegedly demanding bribe of Rs 1.5 crore for
closing a complaint against an association of the state.

The CBI took action on a complaint received from the
secretary of an association alleging that an official of
Registrar, Firms and Societies, Punjab, Devinder Singh has
demanded bribe of Rs 1.5 crore for closing a complaint against
the association without any action, official sources said.

Singh has allegedly assured the complainant that he has
approached a Minister in Punjab Cabinet through Chief
Parliamentary Secretary Raj Khurana for closing the complaint
and will charge Rs two crore for the same, they said.

"The accused also threatened that in case of non-payment
of the bribe amount, control of the association shall be taken
over by the Government and a criminal case will be registered
against the office bearers of the Association," official
spokesperson said in New Delhi.

After negotiations, Singh allegedly agreed to bring down
amount to Rs 1.5 crore for settling the matter, sources said.

Singh after collecting the amount from the complainant
allegedly reached the residence of Khurana last night where a
CBI team led by DIG Mahesh Aggarwal had laid a trap.

The duo were detained and arrested today. A case under
Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against
Singh. The charges against Khurana will be registered once
some more clinching evidence is gathered during the probe,
sources said.

"Searches are being conducted at the residence of both
the accused persons. Both the arrested persons were produced
today before the Special Judge for CBI Cases, Chandigarh," the
spokesperson said.

Khurana`s son Tarun claimed that in search and seizure
report, the CBI maintained that it had not found any
incriminating document from Khurana`s residence.

A spokesman of the BJP Punjab unit said that the action
was aimed at defaming the party.

Khurana is a BJP MLA from Rajpura and had switched sides
by leaving Congress to join the saffron party ahead of last
Assembly elections in Punjab.

Earlier this week a court in Mohali had convicted Sohan
Singh Thandal, an SAD MLA, in a disproportionate assets and
corruption case following which he quit the post.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 19:37

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