Former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal booked under corruption charges


The Punjab Vigilance Bureau during its ongoing campaign against corruption in the state, has registered a criminal and corruption case against former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and four others. In this case, the VB has arrested three accused namely Rajiv Kumar, resident of New Shakti Nagar, Bathinda, Amandeep Singh, resident of Lal Singh Basti, Bathinda and Vikas Arora, resident of Tagore Nagar, Bathinda.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the VB said the above-said case was registered on a complaint filed by Saroop Chand Singla, former MLA of Bathinda city, against Manpreet Singh Badal and others.
He informed that during the probe it was found that Manpreet Singh Badal during his tenure as Finance Minister from the year 2018 to 2021 used his political pressure and influence to purchase two plots measuring 1560 square yards of land in Model Town phase-1 Bathinda near the TV tower thereby caused a financial loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.
The spokesperson further informed that during the investigation of complaint number 11/2022, it was found that the former Finance Minister, using his influence, colluded with the employees of BDA Bathinda and misled the general public during the bidding of plots in the year 2021 and fake maps were uploaded to prevent the participation of the general public in the bidding process. Apart from this, the plot numbers 725-C (560 square yards) and 726 (1000 square yards) in the map were also shown as commercial instead of residential and the numbers of the plots were not shown on the map on the online e-auction portal. In addition to this, the digital signatures of Balwinder Kaur, Administrative Officer, BDA Bathinda were used for the auction of plots without her permission.
During the probe, it also came to light that the bids of the sole three bidders namely Rajive Kumar, Vikas Arora and Amandeep Singh were made by one person, Advocate Sanjiv Kumar from the same IP address and from the same place. Apart from this, both the plots were purchased by the bidders in 2021 at a lower rate which was fixed during an auction in the year 2018 causing a financial loss of about Rs 65 lakh to the government.