Punjab forest scam: VB hands over records to ED for money laundering probe - Hindustan Times
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Punjab forest scam: VB hands over records to ED for money laundering probe

By, Jalandhar
Oct 22, 2022 04:01 AM IST

In September, the federal agency had filed an application in the court of Mohali additional district and sessions judge Parminder Singh Grewal seeking the records. I

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau handed over records pertaining to an alleged multi-crore forest scam to Enforcement Directorate (ED) at a court in Mohali on Friday.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau handed over records pertaining to an alleged multi-crore forest scam to Enforcement Directorate (ED) at a court in Mohali (HT File)
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau handed over records pertaining to an alleged multi-crore forest scam to Enforcement Directorate (ED) at a court in Mohali (HT File)

In September, the federal agency had filed an application in the court of Mohali additional district and sessions judge Parminder Singh Grewal seeking the records. In the application, the ED had urged the court to issue directions to the Vigilance Bureau to provide certified copies of the challan/charge-sheet and other documents so as to initiate a probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. “The Punjab Vigilance Bureau handed over the records, including a copy of the two FIRs related to the forest scam, chargesheets, evidence, information related to the accounts of the accused and other relevant records, to the ED in the court of judge Grewal,” confirmed a senior vigilance official.

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The accused include two formers ministers Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Sangat Singh Gilzian, his nephew Daljit Singh, Punjab principal conservator Praveen Kumar, divisional forest officers (DFOs) Vishal Chauhan and Guramanpreet Singh and other senior officials of the Punjab forest department. The Vigilance Bureau’s investigation has revealed the involvement of the accused in organised corruption for providing choice postings, cutting khair trees, issuance of non-objection certificates (NOCs) for commercial establishments and purchase of tree guards worth crores.

In June, this year, the Vigilance Bureau had arrested senior Congress leader and former forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot for his involvement in a 40-crore scam in the department and booked his successor and former minister Sangat Singh Gilzian for corruption.

The case against Dharamsot, Gilzian and others is the fallout of the arrest of divisional forest officer Gurmanpreet Singh and a private contractor Harminder Singh Hummy on June 2.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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