Amarinder gets regular bail in City Centre case

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Ludhiana, Jan 22 (UNI) A local court today granted regular bail to former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and four others in the multi crore Ludhiana City Centre scam case.

Besides Capt Singh, the others whose bail was confirmed by District and Sessions Judge G K Rai were Raninder Singh, son of Capt Singh, his relative Raminder Singh, former minister Choudhary Jagjit Singh and Ashwajit Singh, a senior official of Delhi-based Today Homes and Infrastructure, that executed the City Centre project for Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT).

In his order the Judge directed Capt Singh and the others to furnish a bail bond of Rs five lakh each. Each of them was also directed by the Court to furnish personal sureity. All of them in the presence of their lawyers compiled by the Courts orders later.

Capt Singh and the others were present in the court when the Judge announced the verdict after a marathon hearing of the defence and prosecution counsels. The five had appeared in the Court on the expiry of the stay granted on their arrests by the Sessions Court.

Capt Singh, Raninder, Raminder, Choudhary Jagjit Singh and Ashwajit Singh were amongst the 36 persons against whom the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) had filed a charge sheet early this month in the scam. The VB that had probed the scam had in its charge sheet alleged that huge chunks of money had exchanged hands in award of the construction contract to Today Homes, thereby causing a loss to the state exchequer.

The City Centre project was awarded to Today Homes during the tenure of the Congress government headed by Capt Singh. It was Capt Singh who himself ordered a probe into the scam after the then opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alleged that kinckbacks were paid while awarding the contract to the Delhi-based company.

However the case against Capt Singh and 17 others was registered by the VB in Ludhiana in March last year after the SAD-BJP assumed power in the state. However Capt Singh and a few others named in the FIR managed to secure bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, that directed them to assist the VB in the investigations.

The VB questioned Capt Singh, his son Raninder and others in the case and finally filed the charge sheet early this month.

Later talking to mediapersons, Capt Singh described the courts order as "a victory". He said that he had faith in the judicial system and justice would ultimately prevail in this "era of political vendetta".

UNI XC-HS VN1806

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