Vishal Rambani

A special correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

Articles by Vishal Rambani

Seven former Punjabi varsity officials under VB scanner for various scams

As per information, the office of the assistant inspector general of vigilance bureau (AIG) flying squad, Mohali has asked the Punjabi University registrar to ensure presence of the officials for the inquiry

Seven former Punjabi varsity officials under VB scanner for various scams
Published on Aug 19, 2022 01:49 AM IST
By, Patiala

Financial bunglings: ED seeks FIR details, to initiate probe

The ED will initiate a probe into the alleged financial dealings of chairmen of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) and Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) in which the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has registered first information reports

While the Amritsar Improvement Trust chairman Dinesh Bassi was arrested, LIT chairman is on the run.
Published on Aug 17, 2022 01:18 AM IST

Inmate escapes Patiala Central jail by scaling wall

Patiala Central jail officials found out about the escape almost five hours later; the inmate has been identified as undertrial Maninder Singh alias Mani of Lubana Karmu village, falling under Bakshiwala police station, and was brought to the jail about a week ago in connection with a theft and dacoity case

Patiala jail officials found out about his escape only five hours later when they tried to locate him so as to take him for his court hearing. (HT File)
Published on Aug 13, 2022 03:52 AM IST
By, Patiala

Punjab | Vigilance unearths 4.8 crore ‘scam’ in land purchase

An FIR has been registered on the basis of the vigilance inquiry. The inquiry hinted at the role of former minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and his aides is also under scanner, vigilance officials revealed. The land purchased was used for compensatory plantation in lieu of deforestation in for various projects in the state.

The vigilance bureau has arrested naib tehsildar Raghbir Singh, posted at Anandpur Sahib, who had allegedly registered land measuring about 54 acres in Karura village of Rupnagar district, in connivance with some private individuals. (HT File/Representational image)
Published on Aug 11, 2022 03:06 AM IST
By, Rupnagar

Those who conspired against me have no political standing now, says Bikram Majithia after release in drug case

Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia asks why former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has fled to USA, also takes potshots at Navjot Sidhu, who is in jail and adds it’s destined for them as they unleashed political vendetta against an innocent person

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia waves to the crowd as he comes out of the jail after Punjab and Haryana High Court granting bail to him in connection with a case registered against him under the NDPS Act in December 2021, in Patiala on Wednesday. (Rajesh Sachar)
Published on Aug 11, 2022 02:54 AM IST
By, Patiala

Not part of Punjabi diet, yet a bane: Agri minister Dhaliwal on rice cultivation

Punjab agriculture and rural development minister Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal has questioned the role of rice cultivation in the state, calling its introduction “a conspiracy to deplete ground water”

Not part of Punjabi diet, yet a bane: Agri minister Dhaliwal on rice cultivation
Published on Aug 09, 2022 02:13 AM IST
By, Patiala

GST scam: Two years on, Punjab VB awaits prosecution sanction against 17 officials

In August 2020, the Punjab VB busted a statewide tax evasion nexus of government officials and transporters and arrested six excise and taxation officials for causing a loss to the tune of ₹100 crore to state exchequer by letting go goods carriers without paying taxes

The office of the Punjab financial commissioner, taxation, is yet to decide on granting prosecution sanction sought by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) against 17 excise and taxation officials booked in a multi-crore goods and service tax (GST) scam.
Published on Aug 08, 2022 12:33 AM IST

80% consumers benefitted from AAP’s free power scheme: Punjab minister

As per the mandate of the Punjab government, PSPCL provides 300 units of free power to state consumers per month starting July 1

Almost 80% of consumers who got their electricity bills this month have benefitted from the Aam Aadmi Party government’s free power scheme, Punjab power minister Harbhajan Singh (in picture) said on Thursday. (Photo: Facebook)
Published on Aug 05, 2022 12:14 AM IST
By, Patiala

A tough taskmaster, Jouramajra is no stranger to controversies

A tough taskmaster, Punjab health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra has been drawing criticism for grilling doctors and medical staff ever since he took office. An undergraduate and a farmer by profession, he had worked as a labourer in South Korea for seven years.

Punjab health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra is finding himself in the eye of a storm over the “maltreatment” of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences vice-chancellor Raj Bahadur. (HT File)
Published on Jul 31, 2022 01:24 AM IST
By, Patiala

Need to educate farmers to avoid stubble burning: NGT chairman

The NGT chairman said that the tribunal will ask the governments to implement the laws as paddy stubble burning is a major issue

Need to educate farmers to avoid stubble burning: NGT chairman (HT File)
Published on Jul 30, 2022 01:29 AM IST
By, Patiala

HC asks PSPCL to pay fixed charges to pvt power plants

Citing Covid-19 restrictions, the PSPCL in March 2020 had invoked the force majeure (a common clause in contracts which essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties) of power purchase agreements with private thermal plants to not to purchase power from them till restrictions are on

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the cash-strapped Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to pay fixed charges to Nabha Power Limited and Talwandi Sabo Power Limited for the period of lockdown during Covid-19 restrictions. This will cost PSPCL around <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>300 crore, said officials privy of the development.
Updated on Jul 29, 2022 01:17 AM IST

Malerkotla shocker: 12-year-old girl kidnapped, raped; uncle, his two aides booked

The uncle allegedly tried to extort ₹3 lakh from her mother but fled after she raised the alarm when he came to collect it; the medical examination of the girl confirmed rape following which sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were also invoked. One of the men who raped her has been arrested.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Alka Meena said that girl told the police that her uncle had planned to sell her in Haryana and even struck a deal with some men. When she started resisting, the accused allegedly got his aides to rape her. (HT File)
Published on Jul 18, 2022 01:59 AM IST
By, Malerkotla

NIRF ranking 2022: IIT-Ropar, IISER among 7 Punjab institutes in top 100

IIT-Mandi enters top 50 in overall rankings, two varsities of J&K in top 100, but none from Haryana make the cut in NIRF ranking 2022

In the region, the IIT, Ropar, stood at 35 in the overall ranking of institutes. Six other institutes from Punjab have made it to the list of top 100 institutions.
Updated on Jul 16, 2022 01:00 AM IST
By, Patiala

Daler Mehndi sent to jail as court upholds sentence in trafficking case

The singer, who appealed against the trial court’s verdict before the district court in March 2018, was out on bail. But, after the district judge dismissed his appeal, he was taken into custody by the Patiala police.

Singer Daler Mehndi being taken to jail, in Patiala on Thursday. (Agencies)
Published on Jul 14, 2022 11:46 PM IST

Human trafficking case: Daler Mehndi jailed for 2 years as court rejects appeal

Daler Mehndi Arrest: Patiala police booked Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher, who died in 2017, and two others after a complainant said they took ₹12 lakh to send him to Canada.

Patiala: Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi being taken to jail after being sentenced to two years in jail for his involvement in a human trafficking case. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Jul 14, 2022 06:42 PM IST

Three fellow jail inmates moved after Navjot Sidhu complains

The fellow barrack inmates allegedly used Navjot Sidhu’s cash card to buy ration for themselves from Patiala jail canteen

Navjot Sidhu was moved to the Patiala jail after he surrendered before a local court on May 20 to serve one-year prison term in a 1988 road rage case. (PTI File Photo)
Published on Jul 13, 2022 11:22 PM IST
By, Patiala

Punjab govt’s free power sop comes into effect

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has not received any official notification or guidelines regarding the scheme, claim top officials.

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann during the last day of budget session at Punjab assembly in Chandigarh. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Published on Jul 02, 2022 12:07 AM IST
By, Patiala

PSPCL meets record demand of 14,000 MW amid peak paddy season

With paddy sowing in full swing in Punjab, Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd

PSPCL meets record demand of 14,000 MW amid peak paddy season (HT Photo)
Published on Jun 28, 2022 02:20 AM IST
By, Patiala

Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll: Simranjit Singh Mann’s remarkable comeback

Simranjit Singh Mann was the first to announce his candidature for the June 23 Sangrur Lok Sabha byoll and remained an X-factor in the electoral battle, which turned out to be a cliffhanger

Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll: Simranjit Singh Mann’s remarkable comeback (PTI)
Published on Jun 27, 2022 01:28 AM IST
By, Patiala

AAP nominee loses to SAD (Amritsar)’s Simranjit Singh Mann in key Sangrur by-poll

Since 2014, Sangrur was considered a stronghold of AAP, and in the March 2022 assembly polls, the party had swept all nine segments of this Lok Sabha seat

Simranjit Singh Mann won with a margin of nearly 5,822 votes by securing 2,53,154 votes as compared to AAP candidate Gurmail Singh’s 2,47,332 votes. (ANI PHOTO.)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 03:26 PM IST
ByVishal Rambani and Harmandeep Singh

Punjab bypoll: Setback for AAP as SAD (A)’s Simranjit Mann leading in Sangrur

With almost 70% of the total votes counted, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president and former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann is leading with a margin of 5,592 votes in Punjab’s Sangrur bypoll

In the Sangrur bypoll, Simranjit Mann struck a chord with the voters by riding on the anti-government wave after the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 02:42 PM IST
ByVishal Rambani and Harmandeep Singh

Sangrur LS bypoll: AAP’s prestige, others’ survival at stake

For the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, it’s a question of prestige to hold on to its bastion. For others, who were swept by the AAP wave in the recent assembly elections, it is a fight for survival

About 15.7 lakh registered voters are set to seal the fate of 16 candidates contesting the high-stakes Sangrur Lok Sabha byelection on Thursday. (HT Photo)
Published on Jun 22, 2022 10:14 PM IST
By, Patiala

Mukh Mantri Sehat Bima Yojana: ‘Safe exit’ to health insurance company under AAP govt lens

Health secy shoots off note to CM, 45 lakh families left in the lurch for want of treatment; no action taken against firm for not adhering to provisions of the contract

The contract was terminated on December 29, 2021, which would have otherwise come to an end on August 18, 2022, citing that the company was taking more than the stipulated 15 day’s time for clearing the payments of hospitals.
Updated on Jun 20, 2022 01:28 AM IST

Sangrur Lok Sabha seat all set for a five-cornered fight on June 23

The Sangrur bypoll is a litmus test of Bhagwant Mann’s popularity as it is the first major election following the AAP’s massive victory in the Punjab assembly elections earlier this year

Even as the surging AAP wave seems to have ebbed following singer Sidhu Moose Wala’s murder, the ruling party still has an edge over a divided opposition. (HT Photo)
Published on Jun 18, 2022 12:05 AM IST
By, Sangrur

Sangrur LS bypoll: It’s advantage AAP, but repeating Punjab poll feat an uphill task

With the Opposition focusing on the rise in crime while campaigning for the Sangrur LS bypoll, the AAP wave that surged on the promise of “badlav” has somewhat ebbed

In the 2022 Punjab assembly polls, the AAP won all nine assembly segments under the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat. (PTI/FILE)
Published on Jun 13, 2022 01:16 AM IST
By, Patiala

Corruption case: How two former Punjab ministers pocketed crores, reveals VB probe

In six months as minister, Sangat Singh Gilzian pocketed around ₹40 crore in kickbacks for issuance of tree-cutting permits, purchases and NOCs, states FIR

Former Punjab forest ministers Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Sangat Singh Gilzian.
Published on Jun 07, 2022 11:49 PM IST
By, Patiala

Punjab VB arrests former minister Dharamsot, books his successor Gilzian

Scams amounting to ₹40-crore unearthed in the working of state forest department during Congress government’s tenure

The Punjab vigilance bureau on Tuesday arrested senior Congress leader and former forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, 62,besides his two aides for a <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>40-crore scam in the department. (HT file photo)
Updated on Jun 07, 2022 04:51 PM IST

Punjab ex minister arrested in corruption case over a month after Mann's warning

Congress leader Sadhu Singh Dharamsot was a minister in Amarinder Singh's cabinet. 

Former Punjab forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. (File photo) 
Published on Jun 07, 2022 07:42 AM IST

Deputy superintendent booked for running extortion racket in Punjab’s Nabha jail

Patiala SSP says role of jail superintendent Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal in racket also being probed; both officials are on the run

The deputy superintendent of Central Jail, Nabha, Prabhjot Singh was on Friday booked for running an extortion racket in the prison. (HT file photo)
Published on Jun 03, 2022 02:03 PM IST

Nabha jail: Two prison officials found running extortion racket

Jail minister Harjot Singh Bains said the matter is in his notice and he has asked for stern action against the two prison officials

A probe ordered by the ADGP (prison) found that both officials were extorting money from inmates at the Nabha jail in Patiala.
Published on Jun 03, 2022 01:41 AM IST
By, Patiala
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