CENTRAL Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail applications of former Punjab jails minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur, his son Damanvir Singh, former chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chandra and four other accused – Sachin Sardana, Kailash Sardana, Sushil Sardana and Rashmi Sardana. All the accused were involved in a case of money laundering related to drug smuggling worth several crores. The case was being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
All the accused had applied for bail for the first time since they were named in the case. Special Prosecutor Jagjeet Singh Sraon, while contending the bail pleas of the accused, pleaded in court that when Phillaur was the jail minister during the previous SAD-BJP government’s tenure in Punjab, he had bought property in the name of his son Damanvir. After hearing the arguments of the prosecution and defence, the CBI court rejected the bail applications of all the seven persons.
The names of Phillaur, his son and Chandra cropped up after Jagdish Bhola, the main accused in the multi-crore drug case, named Damanvir in February 2014. So, Phillaur had to resign as the jail minister in May 2014 following the allegations against his son.
Later, Phillaur’s role also came under the scanner in the case and he was even named as the accused in the money-laundering case by ED.
The multi-crore drugs case was registered in 2013 in which several high-profile people, including former Punjab police officer and Rustm-E-Hind Jagdish Bhola, and businessmen Jagjeet Singh Chahal were booked by the Punjab Police. Later, the investigation was handed over to the ED.