Suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (Ludhiana Municipal Corporation) Balwinder Singh Sekhon has moved a local court here seeking direction to Punjab Police to file an FIR against Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu for “alleged harassment and criminal intimidation” in a matter pertaining to inquiry in Grand Manor Homes CLU case.
Sekhon, resident of Rajguru Nagar of Ludhiana, has filed a criminal complaint against the minister in a local court under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.
Advocate Parminder Singh, counsel for Sekhon said that the court of judicial magistrate Daljeet Singh, taking up the matter, has directed Punjab Police to file a reply and has asked for status report. He added that complaint against minister has been filed under the section 156 (3) of CrPC and the next hearing is on February 15. “Haibowal SHO has been directed to file a reply,” said the counsel.
In his complaint, Sekhon has alleged that Ashu called and threatened him while he was in the process of conducting an inquiry in Grand Manor Homes CLU case. Sekhon has further alleged that the minister tried to use his political influence to derail the inquiry and asked him not to prepare an adverse report and when he refused to follow his instructions, Ashu allegedly issued open threats to him on phone.
“The complainant is vulnerable to threats received from the accused and directions may also be issued to Ludhiana police commissioner to provide proper security to complainant and other witnesses since accused has a past criminal record and his vengeance is quite explicit from his conduct…that when complainant received threats on telephone, he was present in the revenue estate of Haibowal Khurd within territorial jurisdiction of PS Haibowal. It is therefor prayed that CP Ludhiana may kindly be directed to register FIR against the accused,” reads the DSP’s complaint filed in the court.
The case pertains to Grand Manor Homes, a residential project in Ishar Nagar in Ludhiana. With around 130 flats, the project was worth over Rs 70 crore.
It was alleged that the flats were constructed on agricultural land for which Change of Land Use (CLU) certificate was issued by Ludhiana Municipal Corporation based on forged land ownership documents.
As per the inquiry conducted by Sekhon, who submitted his probe report to then local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, those whose names have figured prominently in the probe report included Ashu, another Congress leader Kamaljit Singh Karwal, then Ludhiana MC commissioner Jaskaran Singh, current Ludhiana MC commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur, director local bodies Karnesh Sharma, Ludhiana assistant town planner (ATP) SS Bindra and some other Ludhiana civic body officials for gross negligence and issuing CLU without verifying land ownership documents for multi-crore housing project. The probe was ordered by Sidhu himself on July 9, 2018.
Sekhon was suspended in December 2019 on Ashu’s complaint who alleged that the officer sent him “abusive text messages”.
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