A SPECIAL CBI court on Thursday sentenced dismissed senior division judge Manmohan Singh Walia to four years’ rigorous imprisonment in a disproportionate assets (DA) case registered in 1998. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the convict and ordered CBI to confiscate Walia’s properties which were found to be DA of the convict.
Walia was held guilty under sections 13 (2), 13 (1) e of the Prevention of Corruption Act by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Gagan Geet Kaur. The court has held Rs 52,40,490 disproportionate assets of Walia. The CBI, however, found total disproportionate assets worth Rs 53,94,025 during investigation.
Meanwhile, the court on Thursday directed CBI to confiscate under Section 452 of CrPC, half a portion of House (311) of Walia’s Sector 9 house and to confiscate an amount of Rs 2.15 lakh found in the accounts of Walia and his wife by the CBI and the court ordered confiscation of Naveen Paper Mill which was also found to be in disproportionate assets of Walia in a CBI probe. The properties and assets, ordered to be confiscated by the court, have already been attached by court orders pertaining to the case in 2006. The court has also directed a recovery of Rs 29,69,701, which would be fortified from him from his property.
A case was registered against Walia under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1998 and since then, the case had been argued by senior public prosecutors Pawan Kumar Dogra and Kanwar Pal Singh. During the trial, 107 public witnesses and 38 defence witnesses were examined.
According to reports, a complaint against Walia was submitted by Sector 9 residents, Guddi Manjit and her husband, advocate BS Bindra, to the High Court. Bindra and Guddi had stated in their complaint that half of the Sector 9 house was in their name while the other half, where Walia had started living, was in the name of an NRI, who was reportedly his uncle. Bindra told the High Court that Walia had got the portion for himself but in the name and documents of HP Singh, his uncle.
Acting on Bindra’s complaint, the High Court ordered an inquiry and prima facie, found Walia guilty of having disproportionate assets. The High Court, taking suo motu notice of the matter, asked CBI to register a complaint against Walia based on a complaint filed by the registrar of the High Court.