IO passes buck on DIG in Badal assets case

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Rupnagar, Feb 5 (UNI) The Investigation Office (IO) in the disproportionate assets case against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his family members and others, Surinder Pal Singh Virk sought to pass on the buck regarding the investigation of the case on the then DIG Vigilance Bureau (VB) B K Uppal.

Mr Virk recorded his statement during his deposition in the court of Rupnagar Special Judge G S Saran today.

Mr Virk, who is presently posted as Commandant of 82nd Batallion, also stated that former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh's, media advisor Bharat Inder Singh Chahal had sent some witnesses to Mr Uppal for making deposition in the court.

In his deposition, Mr Virk stated that under the orders of the then Chief Director Vigilance the investigation of the case against Mr Badal was divided into two parts. The investigation of the properties of the Badal famili in the country was probed by Mr Uppal while DIG VB S Chatopadhya who was asked to probe the properties of the Badal's outside the country.

" I was attached with Uppal along with other officers", Mr Virk told the court.

Mr Virk stated he and other officers along with technical teams conducted the assessment of various properties including Balasar Farm, Orbit Resort, Kothi no 256, sector 9 Chandigarh in July 2003. However, Mr Uppal disapproved the assessment report in this regard and after consultation with Director Vigilance Bureau A P Pandey and other higher officers short listed a team of private evaluators including Bharat Shah from Mumbai, Sunderpal Mitra from Kolkata and Gagandeep Singh from Chandigarh and again re-evaluated these properties in November 2003 under his (Uppal's) own supervision.

He further stated that statements of witnesses of the technical team, who conducted re-assessment of the properties, were dictated by Mr Uppal to his reader and he (Virk) signed the statements as per his (Uppal's) direction. He also stated that the final report of the case was prepared by Mr Uppal in his computer and then passed on to him for his signature and he signed the same being the senior most SP.

Mr Virk also stated that at the time of investigating the case, he had come to know that complainant Balwant Singh was the power of attorney holder of Bharat Inder Singh Chahal He stated that Mr Chahal had sent witnesses Kuldeep Singh, Harminderpal Singh, Gurinderpal Singh, Ajit Singh, Satinder Mohan, Amolak Singh, Jatinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Surinder Singh, Gurjatinderpal Singh, Sukhbir singh, Mehar Singh and Satish Kumar Malhotra to Mr Uppal.

Mr Virk also stated that he had verified the Income Tax assessment reports regarding the properties of Badals submitted by defence counsels from Income Tax authorities.

The court also put several questions to mt Virk during his deposition.

The deposition of Mr Uppal, who is presently DIG (crime) and Mr Chatopadhya, who is presently IG (BSF) at Siliguri could not be held today as the deposition of Mr Virk was completed around 1630 hours.

The court fixed March 8 as next date for the deposition of the other two officers.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and seven other accused were present in the court during the hearing of the case today.

UNI XC-HS BK2101

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