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Punjab CM, others acquitted in multi-crore corruption case

Amarinder Singh. File photo: Akhilesh Kumar

Amarinder Singh. File photo: Akhilesh Kumar   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Amarinder’s son Raninder Singh and son-in-law Raminder Singh were also accused in the Ludhiana City Centre corruption case

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and 30 other accused in the multi-crore Ludhiana City Centre corruption case were on Wednesday acquitted by a court in Ludhiana.

Court of sessions Judge Gurbir Singh, while accepting the closure report moved by the State vigilance bureau, stated that no case of corruption had been made out against any of the accused.

Besides Amarinder, his son Raninder Singh and son-in-law Raminder Singh were also accused in the case.

There was no evidence against any accused, the judge ruled, adding that ex-chairman of the Improvement Trust Paramjit Singh also did not indulge in corruption though he may be accused of disobeying the orders of his senior.

“..the court has accepted the closure report of the vigilance bureau and discharged all the 31 accused in the case,” said advocate Ravinder Abrol, who represented the case on behalf of the State.

In August 2017, the bureau filed the closure report in the case. Ten years earlier, it filed the FIR against Capt. Amarinder and others for alleged corruption. It stated that by favouring a Delhi based company for the proposed city centre project, the state exchequer suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 1,144 crore. The Ludhiana City Centre project was announced and rolled out in Capt. Amarinder's previous term as Chief Minister between 2002 and 2007.

Capt. Amarinder, who appeared before the court on Wednesday, told journalists that the verdict was a victory for him and others in their fight against what was brazenly an act of political victimisation. The truth had prevailed and their stand against the politically motivated charges had been fully vindicated. He and his family members accused in the case had always had full confidence in the law and unwavering faith in the judiciary. It had taken 13 years for the victory to come but the verdict had shown that truth always wins in the end. “The manufactured lies presented as evidence before the court by the petitioners had no leg to stand on, and had been totally exposed as nothing but shameless falsehoods,” he said.

Capt. Amarinder, however, lamented the cost the victims had to pay in the process while they waited for their names to be cleared and their reputations to be restored. Five of the 36 accused in the case had, in this period, gone to their graves with the stigma of being involved in a scam, he pointed out. With their names getting cleared, their families could now finally live in peace, he added.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 1:54:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/punjab-cm-others-acquitted-in-multi-crore-corruption-case/article30099377.ece

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