Chandigarh: The CBI on Tuesday apprehended Bhag Singh, Private Secretary of the Punjab Technical Education Minister Swarna Ram in connection with the Rs 1.50 crore graft case.

Bhag Singh was arrested by the CBI in connection with a note written on behalf of the Minister which was addressed to the Local Bodies and Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia, but was not dispatched and instead kept in the Technical Education Minister's office.

Both Kalia and Swarna Ram were quizzed by the CBI here on Monday.

The CBI did not divulge the details about the note when it produced Bhag Singh in the court of Special CBI Judge Ritu Tagore on Tuesday morning.

The agency also produced Khurana, a BJP MLA from Rajpura and Devinder Singh, an employee of the office of Registrar, Firms and Societies, Punjab at the expiry of their three day remand.

The two remained in five days of CBI custody since their arrest and the agency did not press for their remand on Tuesday after which the court sent them to judicial custody for 14 days.

The CBI has sought nine day custody of Bhag Singh saying the note had been recovered from him. "We want to unravel the conspiracy behind the note. We also want to ascertain why he kept the note with him," the agency told the court.

Kalia and Swarna Ram quizzed by CBI

Earlier on Monday, CBI questioned Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia and Technical Education Minister Swarna Ram in connection with the controversial 14 acres land deal in Zirakpur of Punjab.

During the interrogation, while Ram brushed off all the corruption charges and passed on the blame to his Private Secretary Bhaag Singh, Kalia made it clear that his name figuring in taped conversation between Raj Khurana and Devender Singh does not prove his involvement in the case.

According to sources, Ram was uncomfortable taking questions from the CBI officials. Later, when the officials asked him about his signature on a related file, he blamed his PS for breaching his trust and getting his signature.

Speaking after the interrogation, Kalia said, “The CBI asked around 35 questions. A tape containing conversation of MLAs Raj Khurana and Davinder Singh was played in front of me. They mentioned my name.  That does not prove my guilt. Anybody can take anybody’s name during conversation.”

Kalia instead blamed Congress for the entire episode.

CBI had arrested Khurana, a BJP MLA from Rajpura, and Devinder Singh, after registering a case under Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a complaint received from Secretary of Punjab Automobile Mechanic Association (PAMA) Manpreet Singh alleging that the two demanded a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore from the official of Registrar, Firms & Societies, Punjab, for closing a complaint against the Association without any action.

The arrests of Khurana and Devinder Singh were made after a raid at the residence of Khurana which resulted in recovery of Rs 15 lakh in cash and Rs 1.35 crore through cheques from a car belonging to Devinder Singh which was parked outside the official residence of the CPS.

The agency had booked Khurana alleging that the bribe money was to be handed over through him to local bodies and Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia for closing the complaint against Manpreet Singh and other office bearers of the Association.


Both Kalia and Swarna Ram were quizzed by the CBI here on Monday.

JPN/Bureau/Agencies