Chandigarh, 30 August(Wishav Warta): The rejection of Vigilance Bureau’s cancellation report in the Amritsar Improvement trust land scam case involving Capt. Amarinder Singh, by the Mohali special court Judge Jaswinder Singh on 24th August calls for impartial, transparent and fair trial. “A free and fair trial is now highly impossible if Capt. Amarinder Singh continues to be the chief minister cum home minister controlling the prosecution as well as the Vigilance Bureau of the state.” said the leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
While rejecting the cancellation report filed by VB, the court on 24th August held that the said report was based on ‘surmises and conjectures’, in other words the judge has clearly indicated that it is befitting case of corruption which needs further investigation. This is clear prima-facia indict of Capt. Amrinder Singh on corruption charges, by the court of law.
Khaira expressed surprise, that it was the then treasury benches led by Parkash Singh Badal that got Capt. Amarinder Singh expelled as MLA on the basis of a Vidhan Sabha committee report, indicting him in the infamous Amritsar Trust scam. Khaira said that few years later, it was the same Badal controlled VB that filed the said cancellation report on 4thOctober 2016, giving Capt. a clean chit. It only goes to show that the Badals then and Amarinder Singh now are misusing the criminal justice system of Punjab to arm twist each other and then settle matters behind the curtains.
The LOP said that the game of witch hunt and then compromise has been going on between Capt. Amarinder Singh and Badal family since 2002, when the first case of corruption and disproportionate assets was registered against the Badal family. Badal on assuming office in 2007, pressurized and misused the prosecution and VB to trash the corruption case and procured a manipulated acquittal in 2008, which his opponent Capt. Amarinder never challenged in any higher court, indicating a compromise between them.
Thereafter, the Badals in 2008 registered two very important corruption cases against Capt. Amarinder Singh and others in Amritsar Improvement trust and Ludhiana City Centre scandal, involving hundreds of crores of favors and sensational bribery. After having arm twisted Capt. Amarinder Singh into complete subjugation the Badals very conveniently pushed both the scandalous cases in the cold storage, despite damning and blatant corruption by Capt. Amarinder as CM. Like the Amritsar Improvement Trust case, the Ludhiana City Centre scandal involves Rs. 11.41 crores bribery by Capt. Amarinder Singh and Today Homes Company. “Prosecutors while filing 106 pages charge sheet in the Ludhiana case annexed 10,000 documents to support his case but once the hand shake done between the powerful families, Badals filed a similar cancellation report in the fag end of their tenure in 2016.” lambasted Khaira.
Khaira said, therefore, keeping in view of dubious track record of the prosecution machinery and the Vigilance Bureau of Punjab particularly with Capt. being CM, there is no chance for a fair and judicious trial in either the Amritsar Improvement Trust scam. In the Ludhiana City Centre scandal fixed for 2nd September, to consider the cancellation report filed by VB. This is nothing but travesty, murder and rape of criminal justice system of Punjab to ensure self-motivated, pre mediated and manipulated acquittal by Capt. Amarinder Singh.
Hence, LOP Khaira urged Capt. Amarinder Singh to either quit as CM Punjab or unilaterally hand over investigations and trials of both corruption cases of Amritsar and Ludhiana to the CBI for trial outside the state of Punjab.