Four years after a peon of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board was held by the Chandigarh Vigilance Department for allegedly blackmailing a former employee of the same department, a local court on Friday, acquitted the peon after the prosecution failed to prove the evidences. The peon, Chandu Ram, was acquitted from the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Akshdeep Mahajan.
During the trial of the case, the complainant could not support his statements given in his complaint. The statements of the complainants did not match with the complaint when he was reportedly cross-questioned by the defense counsel in the court trial which further led to the acquittal of the peon.
According to reports, the Chandigarh Vigilance Department had arrested Chandu Ram in July 2013 for allegedly blackmailing a former employee of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Sadhu Singh, a resident of Nayagaon.
As per the complaint, Singh had purchased National Saving Certificates worth Rs 12,000 in the year 2000. He had mentioned then in his complaint that he had kept the National Saving Certificates in a log book but he lost them. He retired in 2006 and later forgot about the certificates. However, six months later, an employee of the organisation approached Singh with photocopies of the certificates and was told to meet a man who had the originals.
The retired official said that when he contacted Chandu Ram, he asked for Rs 20,000 in return for the certificates. Singh in his complaint filed in 2013 stated that he offered him Rs 5,000 as a reward for returning his certificates but he insisted for the money he demanded and was not ready to compromise.
Tired of being harassed, Singh filed a complaint with the MD of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board but no action was allegedly taken. Meanwhile, Chandu agreed to return the certificates for Rs 10,000. However, Singh then approached the vigilance department and filed a complaint. Chandu was asked to come to a parking lot in Sector 26,Chandigarh. Vigilance department officials who were waiting there arrested the peon from the spot. He was booked under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and Section 384 ( extortion) of the Indian Penal Code.