Amritsar: Former Punjab minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, who resigned last month following charges embezzlement of funds from his discretionary quota, was on Sunday given a clean chit by the state Vigilance Bureau which charge sheeted his PA as the main accused.

The enquiry report was on Sunday submitted in the court of Additional Sessions Judge in Amritsar.

Ranike, former state minister for animal husbandry, had resigned on moral grounds after the scam surfaced involving his personal assistant Sarabdyal Singh, who is the main accused in the case.

"The name of Ranike was never anywhere in the FIR lodged and moreover his involvement throughout the investigation never appeared at any stage," said Upenderjit Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, Vigilance.

The SSP said that during the investigation it was finally appeared that Central funds to the tune of Rs 74 lakh, for development works in villages of Attari constituency were embezzled.

In the final investigation, the VB named six person in the FIR.

All the accused were booked under section 06/409/420/467/ 468/471/120-B of IPC, he said.

The main accused, PA of the minister, is still at large. On October 3, VB carried out raids and had arrested a block development officer and two former village heads for their alleged involvement the scam.

As per investigation accused Sarabdyal had embezzled grants by encashing 12 cheques meant for development works in Attari constituency through dummy bank accounts.

Meanwhile, Punjab Congress on Sunday outrightly rejected the vigilance report absolving Ranike.

Senior party leader and former Congress MLA from Bholath lashed out at the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and alleged that he was using the bureau.
    
"The challan presented in the court without mentioning name of the main accused Ranike by the VB had vindicated the stand of Congress leaders that Badals were using VB to settle their scores with the leaders of the opposition and to benefit their own men," the Congress leader said.

(Agencies)

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