Two more prosecution witnesses turn hostile in Badal case

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Rupnagar, Oct 10 (UNI) Two more prosecution witnesses in the disproportionate assets case against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and others turned hostile during the recording of prosecution evidence in a special court here today.

Special Judge G S Saran, after completion of the depositions of prosecution witnesses, adjourned the hearing of the case for November 1 and 2 for further prosecution evidence.

Five prosecution witnesses including Deputy Director Horticulture Abohar Tek Chand, Deputy Director Horticulture Bathinda Devinder Singh Sandhu, former Deputy director horticulture Rajinder Singh Grewal, Sub Divisional Engineer irrigation department, canal sub division Bathinda Rajinder Singh, Junior Engineer Drainage Sub Division Bathinda Vijay Kumar deposed in the court.

Sub Divisional Engineer Irrigation department Rajinder Singh and Junior Engineer Drainage Vijay Kumar did not support the prosecution version.

At this Public prosecutor Pradeep Mehta requested the court to declare them hostile and the court accepted the plea.

A total of 36 prosecution witnesses have deposed in the case so far, out of whom 25 witnesses have turned hostile.

Today, Singh and Kumar maintained that they were not put on duty by SE Giddarbaha R K Aggarwal to supervise the work for the laying out of water pipes at Balasar Farm house of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2000.

They also denied having made any statements to the Vigilance Bureau (VB) on November 10, 2003. The two witnesses said they were called at the VB office located in sector 17, Chandigarh and were forced to sign blank papers under threat that they would be implicated in false cases.

The other three prosecution witnesses, however, supported the prosecution version. Prosecution witness Tek Chand said he had given the report regarding the average rates of kinnow, grapes and 'Nakh' crops per acre per year.

Prosecution witnesses Devinder Singh Sandhu and Rajinder Singh Grewal said they had made the assessment of orchards of Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Paramjit Kaur for the years 1997-98 to 2001-02 on the request of the VB on the basis of revenue records of the concerned land.

However, they did not visit the spot for assessment, they said.

Sukhbir Singh Badal and seven other accused were present in the court during the hearing of the case today.

A battery of lawyers including Vikram Chaudhary, H S Paul, Satnam Singh Kaler, Paramjit Singh Brar and A L Verma appeared on behalf of the defence in the court during the hearing of the case.

UNI

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