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Two detained in ex-Finance Minister’s plot purchase case

by Paul Morgan

The Vigilance Bureau has reportedly taken two individuals into custody in relation to the purchase of a plot by former Finance Minister Manpreet Badal in Bathinda. The case revolves around allegations made by former MLA Sarup Chand Singla, who claimed that during his tenure as Finance Minister, Manpreet Badal converted commercial plots into residential ones for his personal use.

The Vigilance Bureau has also registered an FIR against five individuals, including officials from the Bathinda Development Authority (BDA), for their involvement in the matter. While VB officials have remained tight-lipped about the recent developments, sources have confirmed the detention of one of Manpreet’s aides from a club in the city.

Manpreet himself has filed a pre-arrest bail application in the Bathinda district court, and the matter has been scheduled for a hearing on September 26. The court has requested the state and the VB to produce relevant police records on the day of the hearing.

In support of his bail plea, Manpreet’s counsel has submitted a transcript of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s recent public address, where Mann allegedly stated that a five-time legislator would be imprisoned. The complaint against Manpreet was initiated by former MLA Sarup Chand Singla, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after leaving the Shiromani Akali Dal. Singla alleged irregularities in the purchase of a property in a prime location in Bathinda city.

Singla’s complaint, filed in September 2021, accused Manpreet of misusing his position by converting commercial plots in Model Town into residential ones for his personal benefit during his tenure as Finance Minister in the previous Congress government.

This case has drawn significant attention and is being closely watched by the public. The involvement of high-profile individuals and allegations of corruption make it a matter of great interest. As the legal proceedings continue, more details may emerge, shedding light on the nature of this alleged scam and its potential ramifications.

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