Punjab Vigilance Bureau nabs XEN, SDO of the Mining department while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh

Punjab Vigilance Bureau nabs XEN, SDO of the Mining department while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh

Accused officers demanded Rs 12 lakh to transfer the royalty paid for soil excavation

Chandigarh, August 31:

Amidst ongoing campaign against corruption in the state, Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Thursday nabbed an Executive Engineer (XEN) and a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of the Mining department while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh. The arrested accused officers have been identified as Sartaj Singh Randhawa, XEN posted at Hoshiarpur and Harjinder Singh, SDO posted at Dasuya.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of the VB said that Jaspreet Singh resident of village Dholan of tehsil Jagraon lodged a complaint that he is working with Regal Enterprises Company as a Site Controller. The company was awarded a contract of land-filling at Mukerian-Talwara Railway line and it had also submitted Rs 41,10,117 as a fee fixed by the government with the department concerned to excavate soil from village Ghagwal of tehsil Dasuya. Thereafter, it was come into their notice that the land, for which the fee was paid, is falling under section 4 and 5 of the Forest Department. The company filed an application to transfer the royalty in March 2023. The complainant along with his senior Jatinder Singh met the accused SDO and the XEN at latter’s office on July 20 and the XEN Sartaj Randhawa said that the royalty cannot be transferred but after the repeated requests, then he said that SDO Harjinder Singh will talk to them in this regard.

After a few days, the accused SDO called Jatinder Singh to his office in Dasuya and told that the XEN Sartaj Randhawa demanded Rs 12 lakh as a bribe to transfer the royalty. Later, the accused SDO agreed on Rs 8 lakh for the same, the complainant alleged.

After preliminary investigation of the complaint, the spokesperson said that a team of VB unit Hoshiarpur laid a trap and arrested both the accused while accepting the bribe money of Rs 5 lakh from the complainant in the presence of official witnesses.

In this regard, an FIR no. 22 dated 31-08-2023 under section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act and 34 of IPC has been registered against XEN Sartaj Randhawa and SDO Harjinder Singh at Police Station VB, Jalandhar Range. Both accused will be produced in the court on Friday and further investigation is under progress, he added.

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