42 more named as accused for usurping Rs 64 crore in Punjab highway scam

In a multi-crore scam regarding distribution of compensation worth crores of rupees for acquisition of land for the Jalandhar-Chintpurni highway, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Vigilance Bureau in Punjab has found records missing.

It also came to light that then SDM Anand Sagar Sharma had allegedly changed the draft 3-A schedule plan prepared by Louis Berger Company fraudulently and illegally released compensation amounting to Rs 64 crore to people known to him, who purchased the land in the new road alignment.

The Vigilance Bureau has now added Section 201 of the Indian penal Code (IPC) in this case and named 42 new accused, out of which eight were arrested on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Vigilance Bureau said that 13 accused, including then SDM-cum-Collector and Land Acquisition Officer Anand Sharma, Tehsildar Baljinder Singh, Naib Tehsildar Manjit Singh and Patwaris Daljit Singh and Parvinder Kumar, have been arrested or joined the investigation in this case.

He said as per the order of the Special Judge of Ludhiana dated April 5, 2022 for further investigation into the case, the Chief Director of Vigilance Bureau had constituted a three-member SIT under the supervision of Rahul S, Director, Vigilance Bureau.

During the investigation, it was found that then SDM Anand Sharma had changed the highway alignment in five villages in Schedule 3-A prepared by him, which did not correspond to the original draft Schedule 3-A prepared by the Louis Berger Company after a survey.

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