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Punjab Vigilance arrests former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu (Photo:ANI)
Punjab Vigilance arrests former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu (Photo:ANI)

Punjab Vigilance arrests former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in food grains transportation tenders case

ANI | Updated: Aug 22, 2022 22:48 IST


Ludhiana (Punjab) [India], August 22 (ANI): The Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Monday arrested former Congress minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu from a local salon near the residence of Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, according to a police official.
The vigilance bureau arrested Ashu in the case of allotting transportation tenders allegedly on the basis of fake registration numbers of vehicles. Meanwhile, Congress workers protested outside the Vigilance Bureau office in Ludhiana over the arrest of party leader Ashu.
"Vigilance Bureau arrested former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu in food grains transportation tenders scam and further investigation in this case is under progress. Further investigation in this regard is under progress and involvement of others would also be probed in this scam," the Punjab government-led by Bhagwant Mann said in a tweet.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the State Vigilance Bureau (VB) said that the Bureau, after verification of a complaint made by complainant Gurprit Singh, has already registered FIR No. 11 Dated August 16, 2022, under sections 420, 409, 467, 468, 471, 120-B IPC and 7, 8, 12, 13(2) Preventions of Corruption Act at Vigilance Bureau police station Ludhiana in which contractors namely Telu Ram, Jagroop Singh and Sandeep Bhatia besides owner/partners of Gurdas Ram and Company has been booked, according to the Vigilance Bureau.
He claimed that accused Telu Ram has already been arrested in this and is on police remand. During the investigation by the Vigilance Bureau, accused Telu Ram submitted that he met Bharat Bhushan Ashu through his PA Meenu Malhotra for getting tenders for the season 2020-21 who further told him to meet Rakesh Kumar Singla, Deputy Director Food and Civil Supplies. Singla was incharge of all of Punjab being chairman of the departmental chief vigilance committee for tenders and was acting on the directions of the former minister.
"The accused Telu Ram has informed the VB that when he met RK Singla, he demanded Rs 30 Lakh on behalf of the former minster and on different days he has given the bribes to RK Singla Rs 20 lakh, PA Menu Malhotra Rs 6 lakh and money to officers," said the Vigilance Bureau.
The spokesperson added that on the basis of revelations as well as the material evidence above mentioned persons and former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu have been nominated as an accused in this case. During Investigation it has come on record that Telu Ram has purchased about 20 acres land and accused Meenu Malhotra, who is at large, has also made number of properties and record is being collected in this regard. He informed that the record with regard to posting of accused Rakesh Kumar Singla is also being collected and properties made by him would be probed.
The spokesperson informed that the tenders were invited cluster-wise in which 'A' group of mandis and work of all procurement agencies was allotted for the cluster and the name of leading mandis in a particular area was used as cluster name. In the Ludhiana district, Telu Ram was having 4 clusters namely Jodhan, Mullanpur, Raikot and Payal which contain 34-grain markets. Apart from this, Telu Ram was also having cluster in district Ferozpur at Talwandi Bhai and district Ropar local.
During investigations, it has come to light that the main accused Telu Ram had received approximately amount Rs 25 crore for the said work. In order to get tenders, the lists of vehicles submitted by the accused were containing registration numbers of Cars, Scooters, Motor Cycles etc but the same transportation vehicles were required to be verified. After verification technical bid was required to be rejected by the district tender committee however they in connivance with each other allotted the tenders, according to an official statement.
He added that even in the gate passes numbers of Scooters, Cars etc were mentioned but the above-mentioned officers made payments to the accused contractors in respect of material quoted in these gate passes thereby matters regarding misappropriation also come to light. He informed that further investigation in this regard is under progress and involvement of others would also be probed in this case. (ANI)

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