Top Punjab government functionary arrested for graft (Lead)

May 5th, 2011 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh, May 5 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday arrested Punjab’s chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Raj Khurana from his official residence here on charges of corruption.

CBI sleuths have also arrested Devinder Singh Bittu, a senior official of the registrar, firms and societies department, Punjab, for his involvement in the same case.

“We had received a complaint from the secretary of an association alleging that Devinder Singh had demanded a bribe of Rs.1.5 crore from him to close an old case. Devinder threatened that in case of non-payment of the bribe, the control of the association shall be taken over by the government and a criminal case would be registered against its office-bearers,” said a CBI official here Thursday.

“Devinder told the complainant that he had approached a Punjab minister through Khurana for closing the case. The bribe amount was to be delivered at the residence of Khurana. Subsequently, we laid a trap and arrested both Khurana and Devinder. Raids were conducted at their respective houses. Both have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” he added.

CBI officials said initially Devinder demanded a bribe of Rs.2 crore but the deal was struck for Rs.1.5 crore.

Khurana was arrested from his house around 7 a.m. Thursday after the raid at his residence in the high-security ministerial bungalow complex in Sector 39 that began Wednesday and continued through the night.

CBI officials said an expensive Porsche car, nearly Rs.15 lakh in cash and cheques were found during the raid.

“The CBI found the cash and other documents from the Porsche car and nothing was seized from the residence of Raj Khurana,” a close aide of Khurana told IANS.

Khurana, who represents Rajpura constituency in Punjab assembly, is the chief parliamentary secretary, finance, in the BJP-Akali Dal coalition government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. A CPS enjoys all ministerial perks in the government.

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