IN ITS closure report submitted in the Ludhiana court in the alleged Rs 1,144-crore Ludhiana City Centre scam, the Vigilance Bureau has concluded that “there is no proof or fact to substantiate any scam in the project” and that “CM Captain Amarinder Singh never had any ill-intention in the execution of the project”.
In the 77-page report, which The Indian Express has seen, submitted 10 years after the FIR was filed in the case in 2007, the VB says that “in fact, Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out the irregularities in the project from time to time, keeping in view the welfare of the people and corrected them”. The report also says that “there is no proof of any bribe money exchanged between the representatives of the private firm, Today Homes, and any government official at the Hotel Park Plaza of Ludhiana” as alleged.
At least three times, the probe report says, “Ludhiana City Centre was a huge project” and “LIT chairman Paramjit Singh Sibia did not have proper knowledge on how to handle the project”. “Whenever there were some minor irregularities, Captain Amarinder Singh issued orders to correct them and himself ordered probe into them. Thus he never had any ill-intentions. He followed the law at every step,” says the report.
It concludes by saying: “There is no evidence to say that Captain Amarinder Singh was in connivance with the owners of Today Homes or acted to benefit or favour them.” The report concludes that “no evidence has been found against any of the persons named and neither there is any proof of any bungling or scam in Ludhiana City Centre”. “All allegations are just fictional (kalpanik) and sambhavit (doubtful).”
The FIR in the alleged scam was filed on March 23, 2007, on the complaint of SSP Vigilance, Ludhiana. After an investigation, a charge sheet was filed in the court on December 12, 2007, but the court had not framed charges against the accused over the last 10 years and the matter kept getting adjourned. The closure report was filed on Saturday. The re-investigation on which the closure report has been filed was carried out after Chetan Gupta, an accused named in the FIR, filed an application with the VB on March 7, this year.
The Bureau’s closure report contradicts its own probe report filed earlier by then SP, Vigilance, Ludhiana, Kanwarjit Singh Sadhu, on the basis of which an FIR was filed on March 23, 2007, against 36 people, including Captain Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh, son-in-law Raminder Singh, former LIT chairman Paramjit Singh Sibia (now dead), former local bodies minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh (now dead), former Punjab Congress chief HS Hanspal and others.
The fresh vigilance report says its own officials “did not investigate properly earlier” and now in the “wake of new facts, documents and proofs”, it has been found that “there is no proof of irregularity in the project” and “none of the persons named in the FIR had any ill-intention”.