Punjab State Forensic Science Lab Report Calls Disclosure Statement Against Chief Sec Sarvesh Kaushal, IAS Officers KBS Sidhu and KS Pannu, Fake

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According to an exclusive report by a premier digital newspaper, “The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) “forged” the signature of contractor Gurinder Singh – the main accused in the high-profile Irrigation scam — on his “disclosure” statement that later formed the basis of a vigilance enquiry by the anti-corruption agency against three top IAS officers, former Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, former Special Chief Secretary KBS Sidhu and former Irrigation Secretary KS Pannu, it is learnt.”

This startling revelation has been made after a forensic examination of an accused contractor’s signature on the purported disclosure statement when he was in the VB custody in 2017 following his arrest in irrigation scam. In a report dated January 22, 2024, sent to the state Vigilance Bureau, Mohali FSL Director, Dr. Seema Sharda concluded that the signature of the accused did not match with the one on the disclosure statement taken during his police custody, and thus it is “forged”.

The State’s own Forensic Science Laboratory report has put a serious question mark on the enquiry being carried out by the state Vigilance and is likely to cause the probe agency a major embarrassment. Sources said the FSL, Mohali carried out the forensic examination of contractor’s signatures following a reference from the State Vigilance Bureau in November 2023.

A senior IAS officer of Punjab Government privy to the facts said on the condition of anonymity that vigilance enquiry against IAS officers was started on the sole basis of forged ‘disclosure statement’ at the instance of certain vested interests who settled their own scores by getting these officers falsely implicated. The moot unanswered question is that why did the Vigilance Bureau not record the so called ‘custodial disclosure statement’ of an accused contractor before a Magistrate under Section 164 Cr.P.C, rather than before police officers? In fact, when the Vigilance Bureau arrested its own Assistant Inspector General rank officer for various offences involving serious moral turpitude, it should have been an eye-opener about the integrity of proceedings.

An office bearer of Punjab State IAS Association informed on the condition of anonymity that Mr. V. K. Janjua, who was himself trapped red handed by Vigilance Bureau while accepting a bribe in his office, was appointed Chief Secretary and incharge of Vigilance in the State, he manipulated and mislead the Chief Minister to start the vigilance enquiry in 2023 solely on the basis of forged “Disclosure Statement”. It is well known that he had a personal grudge against two of these IAS officers. According to sources, he wanted the State Govt to reject his own pending prosecution sanction, which was not done by Kaushal as Chief Secretary. His wife, an IRS officer, had a personal grudge against the wife of Mr K B S Sidhu, a senior IRS officer, whom she blamed as not having treated her well as her senior in the Indian Revenue Service.

A public-spirited whistle-blower of Punjab, who is actively pursuing Mr. V.K. Janjua’s case, informed that Janjua’s prosecution case has been re- opened by the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently, in which State Government has been directed to send all relevant documents submitted by Vigilance Bureau to Government of India, who should take fresh decision on his prosecution sanction request by the State Vigilance Bureau within three months.

A former Advocate General of Punjab said that it was inappropriate that Mr. Vijay Kumar Janjua was appointed as Chief Secretary and the top boss of the same State Vigilance Bureau which was asking for his prosecution sanction.

Sources in the state government revealed that the State’s Irrigation Department, after examining the role of these officers in all records of the department, had categorically declared that allegations against them were false, and that these senior retired officers should not be made victims of any ‘Fishing & Roving Enquiry’, which is not permissible as per law of the land laid down by the Supreme Court of India. The vigilance enquiry was started despite a clean chit by the concerned department.

Many members of Punjab State IAS Association feel that its President and other office bearers should brief the government appropriately about true facts, so as to stop the victimisation of retired IAS officers because of the manipulations by vested interests, including a few of their own revengeful in-service junior colleagues out to settle their personal scores.

Source:

https://epaper.dailyworld.in/Details.aspx?id=139530&boxid=81392&uid=&dat=2024-03-25#google_vignette

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