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HC breather for Amarinder Singh in graft case

September 15, 2008 14:37 IST

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Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday stayed the custodial interrogation of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a graft case registered by the Vigilance Bureau following his expulsion from the state assembly last week.

A division bench comprising Justices Adarsh Goel and Ajay Tewari, which had last week reserved its judgment on Singh's plea seeking a stay in the case and on his expulsion from the House, also issued notices to the Punjab assembly through its Secretary and directed him to file the reply on or before October 31.

The bench directed 66-year-old Singh to file a rejoinder on or before November 15 and admitted the case for final hearing on December one before a regular division bench.

However, the court allowed the Vigilance Bureau to carry on with its investigation into the case registered against the Congress leader and seven others in connection with irregularities in the Amritsar [Images] land deal.

Singh had moved the High Court last week challenging the assembly's September 10 decision to strip him of his membership and declaring his Patiala seat vacant after a House Committee indicted him and three others in the case.

The committee charged them with releasing 32.10 acres of Improvement Trust, Amritsar land for development by private colonisers in violation of rules following a complaint by a senior Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh, who had raised the issue in the House during Singh's tenure as chief minister between 2002 and 2007.

Besides Singh, former Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh, former Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) Chairman Jugal Kishore Sharma, two employees of AIT and two builders have been named in the FIR registered in Mohali. Singh left for the UK for medical treatment following a court permission a day after the case was registered against him.

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