Advocate Cheema, Badal contended that he was being targeted and entangled in the investigation due to the state chief minister’s political intervention.
Chandigarh, October 16, 2023: As per media reports, the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted anticipatory bail to Punjab’s former finance minister and BJP leader Manpreet Badal on Monday in a corruption case.
According to the news published in The Tribune, in his petition filed through advocate Arshdeep Singh Cheema, Badal contended that he was being targeted and entangled in the inquiry/investigation due to the state chief minister’s political intervention.
Among other things, he contended that the matter was a result of “apparent mala fide and ulterior motives of an inimical head of the state”.
“The present FIR is one of the links in the chain, that the present AAP government in Punjab is trying to fasten around all the persons, be it political leaders, people closely associated with them or common persons who in some way are/were connected or close to the previous government,” the petition read.
Referring to the allegations, Cheema submitted that it was alleged in the FIR that the petitioner used his position and power to influence the Bathinda Development Authority to put up the plots for auction in 2021 at a lower rate. It was also alleged that the public was restrained from joining the auction process by not uploading the site plans.
It was alleged that the confidantes of the petitioner, having exclusive knowledge of the details of the site, participated in the auction and were successful in getting the plots almost at the reserve price, thereby causing loss to the state exchequer.
“It is imperative to bring to the notice of this court that it was an e-auction, which was open to the entire world and it was not possible for anyone to prevent any bidder from taking part in the auction process. The reserve price of the plot was fixed at Rs 29,900 per square metre and the same was purchased by two people at the price of Rs 30,348.50 per square metre.
These plots were later purchased by the petitioner by paying premium over the price to the original allottees and he paid the stamp duty of about Rs 25 lakh to the state exchequer. The money received from the sale of the flat of the petitioner was used to purchase these plots,” it was added.
-The Tribune reported.