Amarinder gets relief in graft case

Amarinder gets relief in graft case

In a major relief for Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, a Mohali court near here discharged him and all others in the much-publicised corruption, forgery and cheating case that was registered 10 years ago. File photo

In a major relief for Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, a Mohali court near here discharged him and all others in the much-publicised corruption, forgery and cheating case that was registered 10 years ago.

The case was registered by the state Vigilance Bureau on the recommendation of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha that claimed a loss of hundreds of crores to the state exchequer in granting an exemption for transferring over 32 acres of prime land of the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) to a private developer.

The bureau had filed a closure report finding no evidence to prove the charges.

Mohali special judge Jaswinder Singh on Friday accepted the closure report filed by the bureau. Amarinder Singh who appeared in the court on Friday later termed it a "victory of truth".

The judicial verdict followed a further investigation ordered by the high court in which the bureau had found that there was no undue favour granted to any developer and the exemption was as per the government’s first come first served policy decision.

As many as 500 hearings were held in the case. "Such political vendetta should not happen. This is not healthy for democracy," he said.

At the centre of allegations in the case was an executive decision taken by the urban development and housing department in the Amarinder Singh-led government during its previous tenure from 2002-2007 to grant a licence to a private developer to promote development in Punjab.

After the Akali Dal took over, a Harish Dhanda committee was set up by the Vidhan Sabha, which submitted a report recommending, besides other things, the disqualification of Amarinder Singh from the House for the remaining term.

These recommendations were challenged in the Supreme Court which set aside the disqualification, terming it a procedural blunder in granting prosecution of a political opponent for taking an executive decision.

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