Punjab: HC Grants Interim Bail To Former Finance Minister Manpreet Badal In Bathinda Plot Allotment Case

Punjab: HC Grants Interim Bail To Former Finance Minister Manpreet Badal In Bathinda Plot Allotment Case

It may be recalled that the said case was registered on a complaint filed by Saroop Chand Singla, former MLA Bathinda city, against Manpreet and five others.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Monday, October 16, 2023, 08:54 PM IST
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Chandigarh: Former finance minister of Punjab, Manpreet Badal was granted interim bail by the Punjab and Haryana high court in the Bathinda plot allotment case, here on Monday.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) had booked him on September 24 under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC and Section 13 (1) of the prevention of corruption Act, besides the information technology Act. He was booked for allegedly manipulating records of the Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) to pocket prime sites in Bathinda. The VB had already arrested three accused - Rajiv Kumar, Amandeep Singh and Vikas Arora, trio residents of Bathinda, in the case.

The Bathinda district court had dismissed Manpreet Badal’s pre-arrest bail plea on October 4.

In the high court, the plea was taken up by the bench of Justice Vikas Bahl where the former finance minister of Punjab was granted the interim bail.

The police had held that the whereabouts of the five-time MLA were not known even though it had raided several places in Punjab and neighbouring states. However, it was argued that he had appeared before the VB when summoned to join the probe in the past and was ready to do so but the VB insisted for custodial investigation.

"Probe was motivated by political vendetta": Badal

The former finance minister had held that the VB probe was motivated by political vendetta and to malign his reputation.

It may be recalled that the said case was registered on a complaint filed by Saroop Chand Singla, former MLA Bathinda city, against Manpreet and five others.

According to the VB spokesperson during the probe it was found that Manpreet during his tenure as finance minister from the year 2018 to 2021 used his political pressure and influenced to purchase two plots measuring 1,560 square yards of land in Model Town phase-1 Bathinda causing a financial loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.

For the record, Manpreet, who was earlier with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had joined Congress in 2016 and is now with BJP since January 2023. Reacting to the case against Manpreet, the state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar said that though the party was against any sort of corruption, the AAP government should come out with facts and put them in public domain.

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