Punjab govt orders inquiry against former deputy speaker

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Chandigarh, Jun 18 (UNI) The Punjab Government today ordered a vigilance probe against former state assembly deputy speaker and senior Congress leader Prof Darbari Lal for constructing a four- storeyed building in Amritsar, which was violative of the original plan approved by the Amritsar Municipal Corporation (MC).

The building was constructed on a busy traffic junction at Kitchlu Chowk at Court Road in Amritsar. This was also violative of an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Disclosing this here, Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia said the site, measuring 633 sq yd, as per original plan was kept as open space. However, Gurcharan Singh, who was then working as building inspector at MC Amritsar and is now an executive engineer at MC Jalandhar had purchased this open space along with others with malafide intentions.

The MC engineer sold the land to Karanvir Verma and Ramesh Kumar Verma, sons of Prof Darbari Lal and his wife Ms Veena Rani.

Mr Kalia said a four-storeyed building was then erected by the former deputy speaker's family at the site which has led to obstruction in the traffic visibility. The site has now become an accident prone zone, he added.

The Minister informed that an inquiry was conducted by the Vigilance Cell of the Local Bodies department on a complaint filed by Mr Naresh Sharma, ex-Municipal Councillor of Amritsar regarding the illegal construction.

Mr Kalia further stated that after a detailed inquiry, the Government, has now decided to handover the case to the state Vigilance Bureau for the purpose of registration of a case under various sections of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act against the violators.

Departmental action against Gurcharan Singh has been approved by the government. The Government has further decided to retrieve the orders passed by the previous Congress government giving sanction to the building plan and has now decided to maintain the site as an open space as per the original sanctioned scheme, the Minister added.

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