January 8, 2009 2:31:51 am
Ration scandal in amritsar PPS officer facing charges of misappropriation; home dept sanctions permission for prosecution,which was earlier declined
The Vigilance Bureau today submitted a challan against Jail Superintendent SP Singh and others in a case registered in November 2005 for misappropriation of funds,which were meant for purchasing ration for prisoners.
The Vigilance was awaiting the mandatory permission for prosecution,which was granted by the Home Department last month. The senior PPS officer came in the dock following raids by the Vigilance on the high-security Central Jail premises. The challan was presented before Additional Sessions Judge NK Gaur,said Vigilance Bureau SSP (Amritsar) Dilbagh Singh,adding that they had completed their investigation and now the law would take its own course.
The government had earlier declined permission to prosecute the officer,but the Vigilance Bureau had again forwarded fresh request.
Apart from SP Singh,Deputy Jail Superintendent Avinash Chander,jail warder Gurdeep Singh and canteen owner Baldev Singh were also arrested. However,Chander was given a clean chit by the investigating agency.
The challan against the two other accused,who were booked under sections 409 and 120 of the IPC and 13 (1) and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) in 2005,had already been submitted. SP Singh was arrested and later released by the court.
He is,however,holding the post from which he was removed after the Vigilance case was registered three years ago,allegedly due to political clout that he enjoyed during the previous Congress and the present SAD-BJP regimes.
Purchases of ration worth Rs 9 lakh were under the scanner of the Vigilance,and sources said they had sufficient evidences to frame charges against the officer. The Vigilance probe revealed that records and papers seized during the raids highlighted the maladministration and embezzlement.
The ration meant for prisoners was being sold in the black market by middlemen in connivance with the higher authorities.
Variations in stocks available and entries in registers had caused suspicion,said sources in the Vigilance. SP Singh,who had always been rubbishing charges against him and had termed the raids as motivated and charges false and baseless,said he would fight the legal battle and come clean.
The government earlier did not give the permission for prosecution,as there was no truth in the charges. Now I will contest the case, he said,adding that charges against him in the case were concocted by an officer with vested interests. Embezzlement of not a single penny can be proved against me in the court, he claimed.
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