A local trial court on Wednesday acquitted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh along with 30 others in the 13-year-old Rs 1,144-crore Ludhiana City Centre scam. Those who have been discharged also include chief minister’s son Raninder Singh, son-in-law Raminder Singh. This was is the only corruption case pending against the Chief Minister. Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh accepted the closure report moved by the Vigilance Bureau giving clean chit to Amarinder Singh and all other accused. The sessions Judge said no case of corruption had been made out against any of the accused.
The judge observed that there was no evidence against any of the accused and added that ex-chairman of the Improvement Trust Paramjit Singh also did not indulge in corruption though he may be accused of disobeying the orders of his senior.
"There isn't an iota of evidence against any accused. No evidence of bribe or forgery. So, the closure report is accepted and all discharged," said the judge.
The case pertains to an infrastructure project conceived during Amarinder Singh's previous stint as the Chief Minister in 2005-06. The Ludhiana City Centre project was to be executed by the Improvement Trust (LIT), a body under the state Local Bodies Department.
Amarinder Singh was present in the court during the hearing. He welcomed the verdict, saying it was a victory for them in their fight against what was brazenly an act of political victimisation. "The charges against us have been rejected," Amarinder Singh told reporters outside the court.
He said the truth had prevailed and their stand against the politically motivated charges had been fully vindicated. The chief minister added that he knew from the first day that the case had no substance. “Though it had taken 13 years for the victory to come, the court verdict had shown that truth always wins in the end,” he said.