Punjab govt sitting on CBI plea to prosecute assembly Speaker
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 19:39
New Delhi: The Punjab government has been sitting for the last 10 months on the CBI's plea seeking sanction for prosecution of current Punjab Assembly Speaker and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Nirmal Singh Kahlon in an alleged recruitment scam.

Official sources said the case pertains to Kahlon's tenure as Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat during the Akali Dal-BJP's previous regime in 1996-2001.

They said though the CBI had finished its probe and had sought permission of Punjab government to prosecute the leader in February this year, it still has not received the nod.

"CBI has sought permission from the Punjab government. If it feels, there is any substance in the case, it will give the sanction. It is upto the government to go into the merits of the case," Kahlon told agency over phone from Chandigarh.

Asked about the allegations of recruitment scam, he said, "CBI's evidence is based on an officer's statement, who has retracted it later. The recruitment was done after selection committees were formed and all rules were followed."

Interestingly, the Department of Personnel and Training, the nodal Ministry for CBI, is also yet to give sanction for prosecution of an IAS officer, who is also an accused in the case.

In 2003, Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered a CBI probe into the alleged scam in the recruitment of Panchayat Secretaries.

The case pertains to alleged scam involving selection of 909 panchayat secretaries made over the years from 1996 to 2001. It was alleged that the appointments were made after collecting hefty amounts from the candidates.


First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 19:39

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