Monday, December 09, 2019

Posted at: Jul 19, 2019, 7:10 AM; last updated: Jul 19, 2019, 9:43 PM (IST)

Politically sensitive files go ‘missing’ after Sidhu quits

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 18

Several  sensitive files, including the one pertaining to the alleged Rs 1,144 crore Ludhiana City Centre scam, are missing from the records of the Local Government Department that was headed by Navjot Singh Sidhu before he was shifted to the Power Ministry. 

The State Vigilance Bureau has already given a clean chit to Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and the other accused in the case. Also, a closure report has been filed with a Ludhiana court. At least five more important files, including the one on unauthorised construction on a chunk of agricultural land in Ishar Nagar, Ludhiana, Bill to levy and collect entertainment tax by municipal bodies and regarding priority works by the Mehraj Nagar Panchayat, Bathinda, have gone missing.

Before bringing the matter to the notice of the CM, the department is learnt to have prepared a list of all such files. Discreet efforts are on to trace these. 

Sources in the government said: “It is a serious matter. If not traced, the files will have to be reconstructed or a complaint lodged.” It is learnt a senior official in the Local Government has been told to get in touch with Sidhu to ascertain whether some files are still with him. Sidhu could not be contacted despite several attempts. The CM was not available for comment either. 

Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra said he was busy clearing the huge backlog of files left by his predecessor. “I have already sought a list of files from the department,” he added.

Uneasy ties

  • Navjot Sidhu, who resigned after he was divested of Local Bodies portfolio and allotted Power, couldn’t be contacted despite several attempts
  • CM Capt Amarinder Singh is yet to decide on his resignation 
Can’t comment right away

More than 300 resolutions by municipal bodies are awaiting clearance. I have sought a list of files from the department. I can comment only after I have received it. —Brahm Mohindra, Local Government Minister


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