Chandigarh: Former Congress legislator from Punjab, Pritam Singh Kotbhai, has been booked along with his five accomplices, for duping Pearls Group managing director (MD) Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and his relative Shinder Singh of ₹3.5 crore.
Interestingly, Bhangoo, along with several other accused, has earlier been jailed in the alleged ₹60,000 crore chit fund scam in 2014, involving over five crore investors across the country. Bhangoo, the Pearls Group company MD and the main accused in the scam was arrested by CBI in 2016 and has been in Tihar Jail since.
Stating that a case against Kotbhai and five others was registered by Ludhiana police on Friday, the police held that he had been booked on the charges of cheating Bhangoo to the tune of ₹3.5 crore on the pretext of getting cases against the latter quashed.
It may be recalled that Kotbhai who had won the 2017 assembly elections from Bathinda’s Bhucho Mandi seat, has also been booked in several other cases of chit fund scams in several states for allegedly duping gullible people on the pretext of getting their money quickly doubled.
Three accused arrested, three yet to be nabbed
Elaborating upon the case, the Ludhiana Police Commissioner Mandeep Singh Sidhu told newspersons that the case was registered after Shinder Singh of Ludhiana lodged a complaint against former Congress MLA Kotbhai and five other accused, namely, Jivan Singh of Gidderbaha, Dalip Tripathi of Lucknow, Sanjay Singh of Faridabad, Sayid Parvez of Lucknow and Dharam Vir of Gidderbaha. The police commissioner said that of the total six accused Jivan, Dharam Vir and Dalip had already been arrested, while the remaining three were yet to be nabbed.
The police said that the complainant Shinder held that accused Kotbhai had told his uncle Bhangoo about his links in the government and that he could get cases registered against him (Bhangoo) quashed. Shinder further held that Kotbhai also maintained that he himself faced several cases against him and yet he had managed to get himself out on bail. Kotbhai demanded ₹5 crore in lieu of it having got ₹3.5 crore as an advance for the same through him (Shinder).
The police said that the complainant Shinder later found out that the firms Kotbhai had got the ₹3.5 crore transferred to were fake, so he lodged the complaint. Hence, the case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467, 468, 471 and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), IPC, against the accused.