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India Court examines witnesses in case against Badals

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Disproportionate Assets
    Court examines witnesses in case against Badals
    Tribune News Service

    Mohali, August 2
    In the disproportionate assets case against the Badals, the Mohali Special Judge today examined three crucial witnesses, who were crucial to loan transactions of Rs 1.16 crore shown by the Badals in their income tax returns.

    The court examined the witnesses, Ashok Kumar and Ashwani, both commission agents, in presence of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal amidst tight security at the Mohali courts here on Monday. Litigants had to face a lot of problem due to heightened security cover.

    Two of the witnesses, Ashok Kumar and Ashwani Kumar, who are presently dealing in cotton business, told the court that they did give loan of about Rs 50,000 on different occasions to the Badals in 1990 and same was returned. They said they did not exactly remember the details of the loans. Third witness Mohinder Singh, who was called for the second time by the court, said over a period, he used extend loan of around Rs 20 lakh to the Badals. But since his nephew, who used to handle the business, was no more, he did not remember the details.

    It may be mentioned that after closing the evidence, the court had felt the need to recall certain witnesses, who had been dropped by the prosecution. On the basis of the statement given by the three witnesses, the court is likely to grill the investigating agency regarding the transactions shown by the Badals.

    On the next date of hearing, August 9, the court has summoned registrar of companies and investigating officer in the case Surinder Pal. The investigating officer could be in trouble for stating that he never investigated the case in which Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and CM’s wife Surinder Kaur along with 12 other are accused.

    In 2003, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau had registered a case of corruption and disproportionate assets against the Badals under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B of the IPC and relevant section of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

    Later talking to mediapersons, Sukhbir Badal said president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Committee PS Sarna was levelling false allegations. The police has been investigating the matter.

    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100803/punjab.htm#5
     
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  3. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    While I am unsure what "Disproportionate Assets" means, I cannot but wonder how much it will cost the Badals to buy their way out of this one.

    :motherlylove:
     
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  4. Archived_Member16

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    For general information only:

    What constitutes the offence - of possession of disproportionate assets - In India


    1.1 A Public Servant is said to commit the offence of Criminal Misconduct (of possession of disproportionate assets), “if he or any person on his behalf, is in possession or has, at any time during the period of his office, been in possession for which the public servant cannot satisfactorily account, of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his known sources of income”, as laid down under clause (e) of sub-sec.(1) of sec.13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

    1.2 A public servant thus renders himself liable under this provision —
    (i) if he or any person on his behalf –
    (a) is in possession of pecuniary resources or property;
    (b) at any time during the period of his service;
    (ii) if such pecuniary resources or property are disproportionate to his known sources of income;
    (iii) if he cannot satisfactorily account for such disproportion.

    1.3 The offence on the part of the public servant is his being in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and his not being able to account for the disproportion. The public servant commits the offence by no specific act of his, nor on any particular day relatable to any act of his. He commits the offence not merely by acquiring assets but by being in possession of assets and such assets of which he is in possession being disproportionate to his known sources of income. Acquisition of assets or possession thereof per se does not constitute an offence.

    1.4 The assets are disproportionate, if on a given date chosen for the purpose, they are found to exceed the total savings he meeting the total expenditure incurred by him. It is an offence only if the assets are disproportionate to his known sources of income.

    1.5 The date of commission of the offence is the day chosen for the purpose, on which date it is established that the public servant is in possession of disproportionate assets whatever be the dates of acquisition of the assets.

    1.6 This is a unique provision in the Prevention of Corruption Act, the possession of disproportionate assets itself constituting an offence of criminal misconduct, based on the unstated presumption that the assets to the extent they are disproportionate are acquired by corrupt or illegal means or by abuse of official position, without requirement of any proof thereof.
     
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  5. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Reading legal documents is a special skill that requires a certain education which I do not have. However, after puzzling over this for a while, it seems that the accused has money that he seems unable to account for. Is this close to the meaning?
     
  6. Archived_Member16

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    You are correct. My take is that the accused has more money /assets than his/her legal/known income sources. Furthermore they are unable to account for the such 'additional' income / assets.
     
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  7. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Thanks, Soul Jyot.

    In North America, such gains seems most often to be from drugs or human trafficking. In India, I would guess it to be from bribery and graft. In any case, this is an indication of bad in Badalistan.

    Query: how has this managed to stay so far under the radar? This short article is the first I've heard of it.
     
  8. Archived_Member16

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    Punjab reeks of corruption

    Kuldip Nayar

    The latest World Bank Report places India almost at the bottom of corruption-free countries. It has the distinction of being 124th. If a similar study were to be undertaken in India, Punjab, I am sure, will rank at the end of the list. The entire state is reeking of corruption and, practically, none in the government is above suspicion.

    In fact, as the Assembly election is approaching - scheduled for the next February - the scandals are increasing in number and gravity. No criticism is making any difference. The furor over the report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India rapping the Punjab government for misappropriating rural development cess had not lowered when the Ludhiana City Centre scam hit the headlines.

    In the first case, a sum of Rs 935 crore was reportedly misappropriated. Where it was used and how was not known. But the cess was not utilised even for drought relief activities. The expenditure amounted to Rs 340.57 crore for the kharif season. The Centre bore the burden. The Comptroller and Auditor-General used strong words: "Audit found no evidence to indicate that the amount collected as rural development cess was utilised for the specified purpose".

    In the second case, the bungling runs into crores of rupees. The Ludhiana City Centre is spread over 20.55 acres in the heart of the city and is meant to provide 200 shops, corporate offices, art galleries and a five-star hotel. The manner in which allotment has been sought to be made has raised suspicion. According to one estimate, the loss to the state will amount to Rs 500 crore.

    The rules, it seems, have been blatantly changed to accommodate those who apparently have paid money in black. The space has been sold by taking 70 per cent of the payment in bulk, depriving the government of its legitimate share.

    The state government has ordered an inquiry. But when the state itself is in the dock and when one minister is being named, the CBI should look into the case. This demand has been rejected for obvious reasons. The state?s own investigating agencies do not evoke the confidence which the inquiry of this type should do.

    Another example of underhand dealings is the land given to Reliance. It is worth crores of rupees. The state has violated all procedures in allotting it. The State-owned Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) has been "forced" to sell the land at a very cheap rate. An English daily from Chandigarh has claimed that it has the proceedings of the Punjab Cabinet meeting of June 25 where the proposal of giving 325.57 acres was approved. The land has been given at the industrial reserve price despite the fact that industrial activity is nowhere visible.

    The question is not only about the violation of rules on the allotment of land to a particular party but also that of the government's involvement. Cabinet meeting proceedings make it clear. It is strange that the Congress high command, which is aware of it, has kept mum. The state Congress is not happy over the attitude of the High Command but does not dare to open its mouth.

    The several instances of the state government's role make one wonder if New Delhi is really interested in stalling scandals or pursuing them to make sure that such things do not recur. A former Congress chief minister made me wiser the other day when he said that the state Chief Ministers had to send money to the Congress organisation at the Centre for running the party in the country. If this is correct, the state is only doing what it is supposed to do.

    Probably, Punjab is overdoing it. Without transparency - it holds good for all political parties - corruption cannot be stopped. And there is no hope that any political party, including the Congress, will ever agree to such money transactions which are open.

    The widespread corruption is, however, affecting Punjab considerably. Very little money is available for the state's development, particularly in the field of agriculture. Yields are falling because of various factors and the biggest one is that the money allocated for the purpose is generally not reaching the field. Farmers are the victims. There is hardly any farmer who is without debt.

    The CPM organised a protest early this week and stopped some trains. The party's demand is to have a law to waive farmers' loans which total Rs 25,000 crore, the highest in the country. I do not know why the party is not pressing the Manmohan Singh government which is in power because of the CPM support.

    Farmers in Punjab are really in a bad shape. The survey made on the "suicide of farmers" has shown that 2000 cases were in Punjab alone. The slogan to have agriculture as the priority at the recent Congress Chief Ministers? conclave is alright as far as it goes. But words do not produce foodgrains. What is required is concerted hard work which the feuding state government cannot organise.

    Whenever I return from travel through Punjab, I feel pessimist because people are losing hope in the government. They wonder if it can retrieve them from the miserable situation in which they are caught. Mere rhetoric is not enough; they want results.

    I wonder that if the Punjabis outside Punjab can do well in every field, why they are lagging behind within the state. The Punjabis outside Punjab should also think seriously about how to help the people in Punjab. They cannot let their own state, Punjab, wallow in poverty and debt.

    Checking with some well-to-do Punjabis in Delhi, I find that their worry is the ever-increasing corruption in the state. Maybe, the inhabitants of Punjab should set up vigilance groups at the district level to ensure that public funds do not find their way to personal pockets which are deep.

    Punjab has spent a long night in the midst of militancy. Wounds are far from healed. Corruption at high places may again put people in the throes of desperation. Seventy per cent of youth, particularly in the countryside, are drug addicts.

    And their eyes are fixed on some place outside India because they feel there is no other way out of the difficulties they face. Corruption at the ministerial level has made them feel still forlorn and lonely. They need the governance to be clean and transparent. This is not much to ask for.

    source: http://punjabpanorama.blogspot.com/2006/09/punjab-reeks-of-corruption.html
     
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  9. Archived_Member16

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    Corruption case: Another witness turns hostile, denies bribing Sukhbir


    Express News Service Posted online: Sun Feb 14 2010, 00:41 hrs

    Mohali : 3 court witnesses support previous statements, Badals skip court again


    A special court in Mohali on Saturday examined four witnesses even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and wife Surinder Badal failed to turn up for hearing in a high-profile corruption and disproportionate assets case registered against them by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) in Mohali on June 24, 2003.

    While the Badal father-son duo sought exemption from personal appearance due to preoccupation in official business for the seventh consecutive time, Surinder Badal has already been granted permanent exemption from personal appearance in the case.

    Badals’ close aide Harbans Lal and relative Narottam Singh Dhillon also skipped the hearing and sought exemption on grounds of “ill health”.

    The court accepted the exemption pleas of the accused absent for today while five others on bail, except those who have been declared proclaimed offenders, were present with their counsels.

    In a major reprieve to the Badals, court witness Amolak Singh of Shahoke village near Baghapurana in Moga district resiled from his previous statement given to the VB on October 29, 2003 , wherein he was quoted to have “paid Rs 1.25 lakh as bribe to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal for certain posting and transfer matters”.

    Amolak Singh, however, denied having made any such statement when he was examined before Special Judge Jaspal Singh Bhatia on Saturday.
    He categorically stated before the court that he doesn’t know Sukhbir, nor did he ever meet him or paid him any money.

    Another court witness Bhupinder Singh of Sector 35-C, Chandigarh, stood by his previous statement made to VB on September 20, 2003, wherein he had reportedly stated that he, in partnership with Badals and two other families, had bought a shop-cum-office in Chandigarh with 25 per cent share each and had given it on rent, which was divided proportionately in four equal shares between the partners.

    Two other court witnesses — A K Puri, manager, Punjab National Bank, Hauz Khas branch, New Delhi, and Yashpal Kathuria, manager, State Bank of Patiala, Killeyanwali branch in Muktsar district — also stood by their previous statements wherein they had provided certain bank records pertaining to transactions of the Badals in their respective banks.

    Today again, they supported the prosecution statements and reaffirmed that their statements and records provided by them were as per official records.
    Public prosecutor Vijay Kumar Singla informed the court that another court witness Kalyan Singh, a retired colonel based in Gurgaon, who was also summoned for examination, had died and his death certificate was submitted to the court for record.

    The court also summoned two new and eight remaining court witnesses for examination on the next hearing fixed for February 27.

    source:
    http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/579411/
     
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