One more link has emerged between Punjab Power and Irrigation Minister and Congress leader Rana Gurjit Singh and the two successful bids in the sandmine auctions held earlier this year that went in favour of two of his former employees.
A second company which transferred cash to a firm that made the transfer for the security deposit on behalf of the two bidders, was set up by the minister himself, documents accessed by The Indian Express from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) show.
The company, RJ Texfab Pvt Ltd., was set up in 1998, and was originally named Rana Fabrics Ltd with Rana Gurjit Singh, wife Rajbans Kaur, son Rana Inderpratap Singh, brother Rana Ranjit Singh and close associate JS Randhawa being among the founders.
It was Randhawa’s son Sanjit Randhawa, who wired the security deposit money for the auction bid through his firm Rajbir Enterprises on behalf of the successful bidders, both former employees of the minister, Amit Bahadur and Kulvinder Pal Singh.
Amit Bahadur is named as a Director of RJ Texfab. He bid Rs 26.51 crore for Saidpur and Kulvinder Pal Singh bid Rs 9.31 crore for Mehdipur, two sand mines in Nawashahr district. The auction was held in May.
The two bids have been mired in controversy ever since after it emerged that both were former employees of the minister. The Amarinder Singh government set up a Commission, headed by Justice J S Narang (retd), to investigate if there had been any “impropriety” on the Minister’s part.
Both RJ TExfab and RGS Traders are named in the Narang commission report into the bidding and allotment of the two sand mines in Nawanshahar district after the auctions in May this year.
The commission notes that these were among the 23 individual and companies that provided Rajbir Enterprises the money for the bids, but it did not go into the provenance of the funding companies, and exonerated the minister of any wrong doing.
RJ Texfab provided Rs 4.52 crore while RGS Traders deposited Rs 35 lakh; an associate company of RGS Traders, Jay Aar Builders, contributed Rs 36 lakh.
The Indian Express had reported last week that RGS Traders Pvt Ltd was also set up by the minister.
In all, Sanjit Randhawa, proprietor of Rajbir Enterprises, paid close to Rs 18 crore as 50 per cent of the bid amount for the two mines.
Reacting to The Indian Express reports, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh gave a clean chit to his Cabinet Minister. “If I take a loan from Sukhi’s (Congress MLA Sukhjinder Randhawa who was sitting next to him at a press conference where he was asked the question) companies and he invests in sand mines that doesn’t establish any link,” he said.
However, the CM ignored the fact that in Rana Gurjit’s case, his own companies invested in the mines auction.
Documents filed by RJ Texfab with the MCA show that it was in October 21, 2002 that the name of Rana Fabrics Ltd was changed to RJ Texfab Ltd. Records available with the Registrar of Companies of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh further show that the company was given a fresh certificate of incorporation in March 2009 upon conversion to a private limited company and it’s name changed to RJ Texfab Pvt Ltd.
As reported by The Indian Express on October 13 and 14, Rana Gurjit Singh also showed financial transaction with these three companies in his election affidavit prior to the Punjab assembly polls.
The financial transactions of RJ Texfab available with the MCA pertaining to the Director’s report of 2015 show a large number of unsecured advances made to Rana Gurjit Singh, his wife Rajbans Kaur, his brother Rana Ranjit Singh. The advances made to Rana Gurjit alone, as mentioned in the report, total Rs 4.49 Crore.
Rana Gurjit Singh denied any role in the auction of the mines and said that all his financial transactions are transparent.