Sukhbir Badal demanded Rs.1 crore, says Punjab IAS officer

Chandigarh : A court here Monday admitted a plea of an Indian Administrative Service officer alleging that Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and ruling Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal demanded a bribe of Rs.1 crore from him.

The court asked Punjab cadre IAS officer V.K. Janjua, who was arrested by the Punjab vigilance bureau November 2009 on charges of accepting a bribe of Rs.2 lakh when he was posted as director of industries, to submit more proof in support of his allegations.

The Akali Dal, in a statement, immediately dismissed the complaint as “frivolous and an Amarinder (Singh)-inspired gimmick” by a “corruption tainted officer” on the eve of assembly elections.

“The allegation is part of a deal between two desperadoes – a tainted officer facing certain conviction and Punjab Congress president (Amarinder Singh) facing certain defeat (in the Jan 30 assembly elections),” the statement said.

“The plot carries the signatures of the patented style of Amarinder gimmicks and is a desperate last-minute attempt to somehow escape humiliating defeat in the forthcoming poll in Punjab,” the statement said.

Janjua, a 1989 batch IAS officer, was arrested in November 2009 from his Sector 17 office here by a vigilance department team. He was booked for accepting a bribe of Rs.2 lakh.

Vigilance officials claimed they had received a complaint against Janjua from Ludhiana-based businessman P.R. Misra. He had alleged that Janjua was demanding Rs.6 lakh bribe from him. A special team of vigilance staff from Ludhiana caught Janjua “red-handed”.

Janjua told reporters here the court had directed Chandigarh police to enquire into the allegations made by him.

The Akali Dal said that the latest complaint from Janjua looked instigated as the officer had not mentioned Sukhbir Badal’s name in 2009 when he had alleged that senior vigilance officers had trapped him in the bribery case.

“It is amazing that the tainted officer had come up with his frivolous allegation after a gap of two years,” the statement said.

Punjab Congress president and former chief minister Amarinder Singh Monday welcomed the enquiry against Badal and vigilance bureau chief Sumedh Singh Saini.

Amarinder said: “It is good that law has finally started catching up with both Sukhbir Badal and Sumedh Saini who will have to answer for their actions of victimising and intimidating people, mostly their political opponents, during the last five years.”

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