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CLU scam: In fresh plea, Navjot Sidhu cites ‘threat to life’ again, seeks to be heard via video-conferencing

Former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has been summoned as a witness in the alleged harassment case against his party colleague Bharat Bhushan Ashu.

Navjot Singh Sidhu (File hoto)

Former Punjab minister and senior Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu moved another application in the local court of Ludhiana Tuesday.

He pleaded that his statement as a witness be recorded via video-conferencing “keeping in view threats to his life” in the alleged CLU case against his party colleague Bharat Bhushan Ashu. Earlier, three such pleas, two by the trial court and a revision petition by the session court, filed by Sidhu have been dismissed.

In earlier pleas too, Sidhu had cited “threat to life” and “no official association with Punjab government” as reasons while refusing to appear as witness in the case. He had also submitted that if need be, his statement might be recorded via video-conferencing, but he cannot appear physically in the court. However, dismissing his pleas, the court had said that Sidhu’s “presence was necessary in order to view matter from correct perspective.”

Both Sidhu and Ashu are currently lodged in Patiala Central jail in separate cases.

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Sidhu’s fresh application submitted in the trial court of chief judicial magistrate Sumit Makkar read, “The applicant has got threats to his life even prior to the period he started serving the sentence awarded to him and…. Z+ security was provided to him by the government of Punjab, which was also recommended by Central Government Agency/IB… .”

While producing the rules of Punjab and Haryana High Court, he has reiterated that his statement be recorded via video-conferencing.

The case against former food and civil supplies minister Ashu was filed by dismissed DSP Balwinder Singh Sekhon, who alleged that the former minister had harassed and intimidated him during the enquiry of alleged CLU scam of Ludhiana. The file containing the probe report of the case, which was submitted by Sekhon, is now reportedly “missing” from the office of Punjab’s department of local government. The court has summoned Sidhu as witness as it was during his tenure as local bodies minister that enquiry was marked and concluded. According to Sekhon, Ashu was “indicted” in the report but no further action was taken.

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Advocate Sachin Arora, counsel for Sekhon said that the matter has been adjourned for October 10.

First published on: 04-10-2022 at 04:17:00 pm
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