Punjab functionary resigns after graft charge, arrestMay 8th, 2011 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, May 8 (IANS) Punjab’s chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Raj Khurana, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on graft charges, resigned from the post Sunday, the chief minister’s office said here.
“Chief Parliamentary Secretary Punjab Raj Khurana today submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the same has been forwarded to the Punjab governor for its acceptance with immediate effect,” a spokesman of the chief minister’s office said Sunday.
Khurana, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Rajpura, in his resignation letter addressed to the chief minister stated: “On the complaint of certain persons a false and frivolous case has been registered by the CBI Chandigarh against me.
“Although, I am not involved in any illegal activity, but I submit my resignation as Chief Parliamentary Secretary on moral grounds. I have full faith in our judicial system which shall part justice.”
Khurana was arrested from his official residence in the high-security ministerial complex in Sector 39 here Thursday morning after a CBI raid at his house Wednesday night.
The CBI also arrested Devinder Singh Bittu, a former state government employee, from Khurana’s residence and seized Rs.15 lakh in cash, cheques worth Rs.1.5 crore and an expensive Porsche car.
CBI officials, who were trailing Bittu, alleged that Khurana and Bittu had demanded bribe from an association of mechanics to let go a case involving a land deal near Rajpura, 45 km from here.
The CBI has summoned two senior ministers in the Badal government, industries, commerce and local government minister Manoranjan Kalia and social welfare and justice minister Swarna Ram, to its office for investigation.
The agency had told a special CBI court here that the money, recovered from Bittu at Khurana’s official residence, could be meant for Kalia.
Kalia has denied his role in the controversy saying that he had nothing to do with the matter.
“I have been informed that the CBI has delivered a notice at my official residence at Chandigarh. I am ready to cooperate in the investigation. Since I am out of state, I will contact the officers of the CBI on Monday (May 9) to fix up the time for investigation,” Kalia said in a statement here.
Khurana is the second CPS in the Badal government to resign in recent days.
Last week, another CPS, Sohan Singh Thandal, was forced to resign after a court in Mohali, near here, convicted him for corruption and sentenced him to three years imprisonment.
Thandal, an Akali Dal legislator, was convicted for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. He had been booked by the Punjab vigilance department.
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