Amarinder discharged in 13-year-old Ludhiana City Centre scam
A local trial court on Wednesday discharged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh, son-in-law Raminder Singh and all other accused in the 13-year-old Rs 1,144-crore Ludhiana City Centre scam.
This was is the only corruption case pending against the Chief Minister.
Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh, while accepting the closure report moved by the Vigilance Bureau giving clean chit to Amarinder Singh and all other accused, said no case of corruption had been made out against any of the accused.
There was no evidence against any accused, the judge observed, adding 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.
"There isn't an iota of evidence against any accused. No evidence of bribe or forgery. So, the closure report is accepted and all discharged," said the judge.
The case pertains to an infrastructure project conceived during Amarinder Singh's previous stint as the Chief Minister in 2005-06.
The Ludhiana City Centre project was to be executed by the Improvement Trust (LIT), a body under the state Local Bodies Department.
Amarinder Singh, who was present in the court, welcomed the verdict, saying it was a victory for them in their fight against what was brazenly an act of political victimisation.
Talking informally to the media outside the court, the Chief Minister said the truth had prevailed and their stand against the politically motivated charges had been fully vindicated.
Asserting that he and his family members accused in the case had always had full confidence in the law and unwavering faith in the judiciary, the Chief Minister said it had taken 13 years for the victory to come, but the court 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 added.
Amarinder Singh, 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 the scam, he pointed out, adding that with their names getting cleared, their families could now finally live in peace.
Earlier, a trial court in Mohali had acquitted Amarinder Singh and 17 others in a 10-year-old corruption case involving a prime land transfer.
That case was registered by the state Vigilance Bureau on the recommendation of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, alleging a scam in granting exemptions to transfer of 32.1 acre prime land of the Amritsar Improvement Trust to a private realtor.IANS