Punjab

Dismiss minister Sunder Sham Arora from Cabinet, register criminal case against him: Harpal Singh Cheema

Punjab Tribune Bureau | July 28, 2021 07:37 PM

Demands CBI inquiry in the matter under High Court’s supervision

 Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema on Wednesday demanded dismissal of Industries Minister Sunder Sham Arora from the Cabinet; with registration of a case against him, for his direct involvement in the sale of 31 acres of prime land of the liquidated JCT Electronics in Mohali to a private realtor by Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), thus causing a loss of hundred of crores to the state exchequer.

In a statement issued from the party headquarters here, Harpal Singh Cheema further demanded a time-bound inquiry in the matter by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the supervision of the High Court. Cheema further said that the AAP does not trust the committee of tainted bureaucrats and the Punjab Vigilance department, as its previous probe in the 1500-crore industrial plot allotment scam of PSIEC was a damp squib. He said that a loss of nearly Rs 125 crore incurred by the state government with the deal; however in reality will go up to Rs 300 crore after a thorough probe.

It may be recalled that Harpal Singh Cheema had raised the matter related to irregularities in industrial plot allotment by PSIEC and the JCT Electronics land matter in the Assembly and also raised objections against the shoddy investigation conducted by the committee of IAS officers, which had given the real culprits a clean chit. “Such embezzlements and scams cannot be perpetrated by the officials, MLAs or ministers without the patronage of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, under whom all sorts of mafias are flourishing in the state,” he said.

Cheema alleged that in the corruption case of former Naib Tehsildar, Varinderpal Singh Dhoot, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau had deliberately not included minister Sunder Sham Arora in the case, who has direct involvement with Dhoot in various businesses; with his family members also having joint properties with Dhoot. He demanded that the case be now reinvestigated by the CBI after including Sunder Sham Arora in it.

The LoP further said the functioning and the real intentions of the officials and the ministers of the state government have been exposed in yet another scam. Cheema said that the PSIEC did not stake claim to Rs 161 crore as the unearned profit to be paid on the sale of the property and agreed to sell the lease land at a reduced cost of Rs 90.56 crore of which the Corporation would get only fifty per cent that is Rs 45 crore. “Despite the financial and legal implications involved, the matter was never referred to the Finance Department or to the AG office, which is a sheer case of negligence and misappropriation,” he added.

Harpal Singh Cheema said the board of Punjab Infotech had not accorded its post-facto approval, rather suggested that the matter be referred to AG, Punjab, which was not eventually done; thus entailing financial implications. Also, despite the red flag raised by Punjab Infotech and the matter regarding the tripartite agreement and unearned increase being under consideration by them; the PSIEC proceeded to take the approval of the state government and minister Sunder Sham Arora approved the decision and PSIEC issued a letter communicating the same to the bidder.

Taking a dig at Captain Amarinder Singh, Harpal Singh Cheema said, “If your government follows ‘Zero Corruption Agenda’ and if you do not take action against the minister who misused his position and swindled the exchequer, then it will be proved once again that you (Captain Amarinder) and your ministers and leaders are themselves involved in the ongoing land mafia in the state.”

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