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Punjab VB books Capt Amarinder’s ex-media adviser BIS Chahal in assets case

He was, however, acquitted in the case in 2016 after the bureau failed to prove charges in the disproportionate assets case.

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Punjab VB books Capt Amarinder’s ex-media adviser BIS Chahal in assets case
Patiala: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has registered a case of disproportionate assets against Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, former media adviser to former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, who was the media adviser to Capt Amarinder Singh during the Congress regime (2002-07), was booked for corruption in 2007 as well, during the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP rule and faced a probe by the Vigilance Bureau. He was, however, acquitted in the case in 2016 after the bureau failed to prove charges in the disproportionate assets case.

However, following a plea by Chahal, the Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) last week restrained the bureau from arresting Chahal.

The VB said an FIR (number 26) was registered under Sections 13(1)B and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Chahal at the Patiala police station yesterday. Chahal joined the BJP in September 2022 last year, along with Capt Amarinder Singh.

As per the FIR, from March 2017 to September 2021, the income of Chahal and his family members was Rs 7.85 crore against the expenditure of Rs 31.79 crore, which was almost 305 per cent more than his known sources of income.

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The FIR states that Chahal acquired properties in his own and his family members’ names, including Dashmesh Luxury Wedding Resort (Alcazar) at Fatehgarh Sahib, a five-storey commercial building on the Mini Secretariat road in Patiala, 72 kanal and 14 marla land at Kalyan village near a toll plaza on the Nabha road. “Apart from that, he also bought land at Malaheri and Harbanspura villages in Fatehgarh Sahib,” it adds.

The HC has, however, restrained the VB from arresting Chahal in the case. On June 1, the HC restrained the VB from taking action pursuant to the probe. However last week, it modified that order and said the VB was permitted to conclude the inquiry and to give effect to the same and in case, it came to the conclusion that an FIR

was required to be registered, it would hand over a copy of the FIR to Chahal’s counsel, but not arrest him till the next date of hearing on August 7.

A senior VB official told The Tribune that in the preliminary probe “only the aforementioned properties have been taken into account. However, our probe is on and various other properties bought in the names of other relatives are also under the scanner”.

“The probe is not complete and we need to grill Chahal to know the sources of income used to buy all such properties,” he said.

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