The court of sessions judge Gurbir Singh on Thursday dismissed the application of former SSP (Vigilance, Ludhiana) Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu in the Rs 1,144-crore alleged Ludhiana city centre scam which happened during Captain Amarinder Singh’s previous stint as Punjab CM in 2006.
While dismissing the plea, the court, in verbal orders, said, “You are not the complainant, neither the informer, nor the aggrieved, so the application is dismissed.”
On July 17, the former SSP had moved application in court challenging the closure report filed by the Vigilance Bureau, which gave a clean chit to CM Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh and other accused in the case. Sandhu had submitted in the court that since he was the main investigating officer in the case who had filed FIR against Captain and others in 2007, the court should hear him once before accepting the cancellation report filed by Vigilance.
However, opposing his plea, director (prosecution) Vijay Singh and district attorney Ravinder Abrol had argued that Sandhu was merely a “signatory in FIR by virtue of being then SSP, not the complainant or aggrieved” and that since his retirement in 2010, he had no connection with the case.
The case has been adjourned for October 25.
Will move HC, threat to my life: Ex-SSP
After dismissal of his application, Sandhu, who attended court hearing Thursday, said he would move the High Court and fight till the end. He reiterated he was facing “threat to life” and being pressured to change his stand in favour of Captain.
“I will be fighting against this loot of public money till the end. Even if High Court dismisses my plea, I will be moving to the Supreme Court too,” Sandhu told The Indian Express.
Turns & twists
The inquiry in case was marked to the Vigilance Bureau by the Punjab government on September 19, 2006, when Captain was Punjab chief minister, following reports in the media alleging irregularities in the project.
FIR was filed on March 23, 2007, when SAD-BJP returned to power. The FIR, filed against Captain Amarinder Singh and others, said a private company Today Homes was allegedly given undue benefits of Rs 1,144 crore for construction of Ludhiana City Centre. The project site is on Pakhowal road in Ludhiana where proposal was to build malls, multiplex, helipad, residential towers etc way back in 2005-06.
Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh, son-in-law Raminder Singh and 33 others were booked for cheating, criminal breach of trust and forgery by the Vigilance Bureau. Chargesheet in court was filed on December 12, 2007 and since then trial is on.
Ten years later, on August 19, 2017, months after Congress returned to power in Punjab, the Vigilance Bureau, trashing its own initial inquiry report after a “re-investigation”, filed a closure report in the court claiming there “was no scam at all” and that “no proof has been found against the accused”.