A day after Leader of Opposition and senior AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira released and dismissed the Narang Commission report on irregularities in the recent sand mine auctions, Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh Saturday said that a three-member government committee was studying the Commission’s recommendations and would submit its own recommendations on the report in one week’s time.
The Justice JS Narang Commission, constituted by the Punjab government to probe into allegations of irregularities in the auction of sand mines, has recommended the cancellation and re-auction of the two controversial mines that were linked to Punjab Minister Rana Gurjit Singh.
The Indian Express, on September 20, was the first to report the Narang Commission’s conclusions. The chief secretary told The Indian Express that a committee of Finance Secretary Anirudh Tewari, Industries Secretary RK Verma, Home Secretary NS Kalsi — following directions from Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh — would look into Justice Narang’s recommendations.
“We will go with the committee. We will do whatever the committee decides,” said Singh. He said the committee will be submitting its report within a week or so. In its 87-page report including annexures, the Commission has elaborated how the requisite procedure was not followed in allocation of these sand mines, and concluded — “re-auctioning of such mines would be the procedure to be followed. If that be so, no loss would occur to the state revenue”.
The commission has found that the two highest bidders of Saidpur Khurd and Mehadipur mines, Amit Bahadur and Kulvinder Paul Singh, former employees of firms owned by the Rana family, had blatantly violated rules governing participation in the auction.
The committee also found that the two had not deposited processing fees, earnest money and 50 per cent of the bid money themselves nor had any amount been deposited through their bank accounts as mandatorily provided under Conditions 5, 22 and 25 of the auction rules. Instead, the money had been deposited on their behalf by two others, Sahil Singla, and Sanjit Randhawa.
Sanjit Randhawa is the son of Captain B S Randhawa, a businessman and a close associate of Rana Gurjit.
Meanwhile, Khaira said Singla was linked to a firm of chartered accountants that deals with Rana group of companies.