District and Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh on Saturday directed the prosecution and defense counsels to file their replies on the application filed by Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, challenging the Vigilance Bureau’s closure report in the alleged Rs 1, 144-crore Ludhiana city center “scam”. The case has now been scheduled for a hearing on October 21.
During the last hearing on September 16, Bains had requested to join the proceedings claiming that “since it is a corruption case, he has the right to challenge the closure report”. The court, accepting Bains’ application, had issued notices to the prosecution and defence seeking their replies on it.
Trilok Sood, one of the counsels for CM Captain Amarinder Singh said, “Since we received the notices only two days back, both prosecution and defence have asked for more time to file their replies. The next hearing is now on October 21.”
On August 19, the Vigilance Bureau, tearing into its own initial inquiry report, had filed a closure report in the court claiming that there “was no scam at all” and that “no proof had been found against the accused including Captain Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh, son-in-law Raminder Singh and 33 others following a “re-investigation” in the case.
Earlier, The Indian Express had reported that in the 77-page closure report, the VB said that “there was no proof or fact to substantiate any scam in the project” and that “Captain Amarinder Singh never had any ill-intention in execution of the project”. “All allegations were fictional (kalpanik) and doubtful (sambhavit),” concluded the report. This “re-investigation” was carried out after Chetan Gupta, one of the accused named in the FIR, had filed his application demanding a re-probe on March 7, 2017, just three days before Punjab Assembly poll results.