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Punjab Vigilance Bureau tightens noose around Dharamsot, says concealed info in poll affidavit

Punjab Vigilance Bureau tightens noose around Dharamsot, says concealed info in poll affidavit

The Vigilance Bureau had earlier booked Dharamsot in a corruption case on June 6. He is currently in judicial custody.

Trouble seems to be piling up for former forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot with Punjab Vigilance Bureau now writing to the Election Commission of India, accusing the Congress leader of not mentioning a 500-square yard plot in Mohali, which was in the name of his wife Sheela Devi, in his poll affidavit.

The Vigilance Bureau had earlier booked Dharamsot in a corruption case on June 6. He is currently in judicial custody.

As per a memo by the Vigilance Bureau, during the investigation of corruption case against Dharamsot, it emerged that plot number 27, located in sector 80, Mohali, and measuring 500 square yards was purchased on May 2021 and ownership of this plot was transferred in the name of his wife Sheela on June 9, 2021.

“As per the record of GMADA (Greater Mohali Area Development Authority), Sheela Devi was the owner of the plot [as] on 31-01-2022. In this regard one affidavit dated 02.03.2022 (March2, 2022) was submitted by Sheela Devi in GMADA for further transferring the above said plot to Raj Kumar and Kashmir Singh,” read the letter written by VB to ECI, copy of which was also marked to the office of State Election Commission, Punjab.

Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Dr S Karuna Raju, when contacted, said, “I will have to check. I am in Delhi today. I will check tomorrow.”

In the letter to ECI, VB said, “Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had filed his nomination papers as a candidate for 109-Nabha (SC) Punjab Assembly Constituency and had also filed a Notarized Affidavit /Form 26 dated 31 January 2022 Sadhu Singh Dharamsot filled in the details of immovable property in his name and his wife Sheela Devi’s name in this affidavit.”

The VB said the immovable property in the name of Sheela Devi was mentioned as agricultural land of 13 Biswa-7 Biswaian in Rohta village, in Nabha tehsil of Patiala district and which was purchased on May 03, 2012. It added non-agricultural land in the name of Sheela was mentioned as a 5-marla livestock cattle shed at Bir Amloh purchased on May 11, 1995. And a plot measuring 2970 square feet at Bir Amloh purchased on September 22, 2019.

“From the above said facts it is clear that while filing his nomination papers as a candidate with the Returning Officer, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot filed affidavit (Form-26) and in this affidavit he deliberately concealed information regarding residential plot (500 square yards) of his wife and gave false information which he knows or has reason to believe to be false in this affidavit,” the VB said in the letter, adding that by doing so, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot “has committed an offence under Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. You are requested to initiate necessary action against him as per the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”

Dharamsot was last month arrested by the VB in the alleged multi-crore scam in Punjab forest department. The case was registered following the interrogation of contractor Harmohinder Singh and Vigilance Bureau investigations where a diary purportedly written by Harmohinder was recovered and contained startling revelations about alleged rampant corruption when Dharamsot was forest minister.

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