The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court of Chandigarh on Friday granted anticipatory bail to a businessman, who has been chargesheeted by the agency in a bribery case also involving eight other people, including Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner and a Labour Enforcement officer.
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Dr Sushil Kumar Garg, granted the bail on furnishing a bail bond in the sum of Rs 1 lakh with one surety in the like amount subject to the conditions that he will not leave the country without prior permission of the court, will not try to hamper with the investigation of the case, will not influence the prosecution witnesses, and will appear for every date of hearing.
The accused Lakhwinder Singh, who has been granted bail, is facing charges under sections 7, 7 A, 8 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and Section 120 b of the Indian Penal Code. The other accused include Mahesh Chand Sharma, Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner, Vivek Naik Labour Enforcement Officer (LEO), Akhand Raj Singh of Nagarjuna Construction Company, Gurmeet Sidhu and Munish Garg both of Advantage HR Solutions, Gangumolu Venkata Ramaiah, and Inderjeet Singh Bath.
As per the case, the CBI had learnt that Gurmeet Sidhu and Munish Garg were involved in liasioning activities under the garb of consultancy firm, Advantage HR Solutions, located at Bathinda, (Punjab). The two, working as conduits, had been collecting Rs 35,000 (approximately) each from private parties (industrialists/businessmen) on a quarterly basis for allowing to manipulate and violate various mandatory provision relating to compliance of EPF and labour laws and for not taking any action.
As per allegations, Naik had asked Sidhu to arrange Rs 1.50 lakh from the company for the raid conducted on May 8. Sidhu thus collected the money on May 29 from Venkatraman, Deputy General Manager of Nagarjuna Construction Company. Sidhu then asked the construction company officials to reach Chandigarh on May 30, to deliver the amount of bribe and the quarterly bribe fee to the concerned labour department officials. The CBI team thus reached a hotel at Panchkula and laid a trap with the informer, where Sidhu was seen handing over a packet to Naik at the hotel parking. The CBI team arrested the accused on the spot and seized the packet containing Rs 1.30 lakh cash amount.
During interrogation on the spot, Naik told the CBI that the amount was taken on behalf of Mahesh Chand Sharma, Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner, Chandigarh.
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