Ex-IAS officer questions Punjab Vigilance Bureau mandate to quiz him in Rs1,000 crore scam

New Delhi, Dec 14: KBS Sidhu, the retired IAS officer, suspected to be involved in the Rs 1000 crore Irrigation Department scam has questioned the mandate of the Vigilance Bureau (VB) to summon him. He has demanded a copy of the order of the Punjab government that gives the mandate to the VB to inquire into the matter.

In a letter to the VB, Sidhu states: ‘I reserve the right to determine, by way of appropriate legal proceedings, as to whether the summon in question is in violation of interim order (of the High Court) dated November 15, 2022.’

In his letter to the VB sent today, Sidhu writes: ‘the summon is liable to first satisfy the requirements of section 17-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 since the requisite ‘prior approval’ to conduct any such inquiry is mandatorily required by the VB before proceeding further.’

Sidhu maintains that the VB accepted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the previous order of the Punjab government was ‘erroneous’ and a ‘rectified order’ will be sought from the competent authority to launch the inquiry proceedings.

Sidhu demands that a copy of such an order, if available, be shared with him before he is to be summoned for appearing before the VB officers as per observations made by the High Court in its order.

Further, Sidhu conveyed to the VB that he did not receive the summon at his permanent address in Patiala. The same was received on his Whatsapp number at around 9 pm on Monday i.e. December 12 which was too late. Hence, ‘I am not in a position to appear before you today i.e. on December 13, at 10 am.’

According to highly placed VB sources, a copy of the rectified order of the Punjab government, very much available with the VB, is being sent to Sidhu via email, Whatsapp, and registered post to his permanent address today itself.

The summon sent by VB earlier to his Patiala address was returned back as his residence remained mostly locked.

Sidhu is being asked to appear before VB officers on December 20 through a fresh summon.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)





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