A day after The Sunday Express exposed that the prime accused in the alleged Rs 1000-crore irrigation scam, Gurinder Singh, partially funded the sand mining bid of Punjab’s Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh’s ex-employee’s firm, the stakeholders in the business denied the charges.
Addressing a joint press conference on Saturday, Capt J S Randhawa, a close aide of Rana Gurjit, his son Sanjeet Singh Randhawa, his business partner Sahil Singla, his father and minister’s chartered accountant, Triloki Nath Singla, and Harivash Garg denied having used Gurinder Singh’s money.
Rajbir Enterprises, a firm with managing partners, including Sanjeet Randhawa and Sahil Singla, and a working partner (ex-employee of Rana Gurjit) Amit Bahadur had bid for Saidpur mine in Nawanshahar for Rs 26 crore.
An amount of Rs 5 crore was transferred by Gurinder Singh to Harivansh Garg’s son Jatin Garg’s account, who had transferred it in Rajbir Enterprises’ account on May 23, the last day of depositing security amount after successful bid for the mines.
Capt Randhawa said his son Sanjeet met Jatin Garg only when they both appeared in front of Justice J S Narang (retd), who probed the alleged sand mining scam.
Sanjeet said he did not know about the source of the money. He said Jatin Garg had borrowed the money from Gurinder Singh on 12 per cent interest and the deal was notarised, submitted to Justice Narang.
Harivansh Garg said Gurinder Singh was his old friend and they both were government contractors. “Jatin Garg transferred Rs 5 crore, without asking Sahil Singla, to Rajbir Enterprises on May 23, but Sahil Singla returned the money on May 25,” he said.
The Rs 5 crore returned the day the sand mining scam was exposed. The money that reached the account of Rajbir Enterprises on May 23 was transferred back to Jatin Garg’s account on May 25, the day a newspaper had reported the sand mining scam.