Land compensation scam touches Rs 3.91 cr, 18 in dock - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Land compensation scam touches Rs 3.91 cr, 18 in dock

Land compensation scam touches Rs 3.91 cr, 18 in dock

Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, October 10

The scam involving the suspended Sub-Divisional Magistrate Anupreet Kaur, has now touched the Rs 3.91-crore mark.

On September 5, when the Patti police had registered a case against her and seven others for misappropriating money meant for people whose land had been acquired for constructing a national highway, the amount was pegged at Rs 1.64 crore.

With new details surfacing, the police have made additions accordingly, and also named Vikas Mehta, manager of the HDFC Bank’s Khemkaran branch, among others. Now, the number of accused has gone up to 18.

Sources say more details of misappropriation are expected to crop up and the accused’s numbers too are expected to rise.

According to sources, the police may not be able to submit challan in the stipulated 90 days. No arrest has been made so far as the investigation is still going on.

The matter was under re-investigation on Anupreet’s request, the police said.

The scam had surfaced after an inquiry was conducted by Patti SDM Navraj Singh Brar on the orders of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pardeep Kumar Sarbharwal.

The embezzled amount was a part of the compensation released by the Union Government for those whose land was acquired for the construction of National Highway (NH) 54, then known as NH 15, passing through the district.

Brar’s inquiry report stated that Anupreet Kaur, being the Competent Authority Land Acquisition (CALA), “misused her power and deposited money into the accounts of other accused without verifying revenue records and causing losses to the the state exchequer. Repeated attempts to contact Anupreet Kaur for her comments failed.

The HDFC Bank’s Khemkaran branch has been accused of laxity in opening accounts as over Rs 2 crore was withdrawn within a day or two from the day of depositing money. In many cases, money was transferred to other accounts.

Anupreet Kaur’s former husband Bachittar Singh Dhillon of Sheron village said the case should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation as “the embezzled amount may be almost three times than what has surfaced till now and more higher-ups may be involved in it.”

PCS Officer Anupreet Kaur has served in Tarn Taran, Patti and Bhikhiwind as an SDM. Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code have already been slapped.

Funds misappropriated   

The then SDM, Anupreet Kaur, was Competent Authority Land Acquisition when she allegedly misappropriated crores of rupees which were meant for disbursal among those whose land had been acquired for constructing National Highway 54. Vikas Mehta, manager of the HDFC Bank’s Khemkaran branch, has also been named in the fraud

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