The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has registered a case against Malwinder Singh Sidhu, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of the Human Rights Cell, Punjab Police, along with Kuldeep Singh, a driver from the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, Punjab, resident of Astha Home, Gilco Valley, SAS Nagar and Balbir Singh, a resident of Alampur village in Patiala district, for exploiting their positions, committing fraud, blackmailing, extortion and bribery from government employees.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the state VB said the AIG Sidhu used to initiate complaints against government employees, only to subsequently withdraw these complaints in the process of blackmailing and in exchange for illicit gains. On the basis of a vigilance enquiry no 15, dated 06-10-2023, the VB has taken stringent legal measures, leading to the registration of FIR number 28, dated October 30, 2023 against all the above mentioned accused under sections 7 and 7-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act and under sections 384, 419, 420, and 120-B under Indian Penal Code at Police Station Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad-1, Punjab, Mohali.
He further informed that during the investigation, it was found that Malwinder Singh Sidhu, serving as AIG of Human Rights Cell, Punjab since 2017, has never held the positions of AIG or IG within the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, over the past five years. This officer misused his government vehicle, Ertiga (PB 65 AD 1905), while fuel and other expenses were being drawn from the government account. However, he never maintained records of vehicle usage (log book) which indicating a misuse of government property, he added.
Furthermore, the investigation uncovered instances where AIG Sidhu falsely identified himself as the IG, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab to a data operator working at the office of Block Primary Education Officer, Rajpura. Sidhu, using this deceptive identity, obtained a photocopy of a government teacher’s service book and took photographs of the initial page using his mobile phone.
Similarly, AIG Sidhu sent a written application to the Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Ghanour, besides on the email ID of the school and another application through above said accused Kuldeep Singh, and received record of a school teacher. In order to verify the records of these teachers taken from the school, he took the District Social Welfare Officer along with them to the school, and tried to get the principal to sign the two-page proforma, but the principal refused to sign on the form.
He further added that in another case under scrutiny involves Malwinder Singh Sidhu, through the above said Balbir Singh, obtained the personal record of a Block Officer in the Agriculture Department at Guru Harsahai, district Ferozepur despite the objections raised by the concerned officer. After this, they lodged a complaint against the concerned officer in his department for possessing a forged Scheduled Caste certificate. In return to withdraw this complaint, a sum of three lakh rupees was demanded from the officer, of which one and a half lakh rupees were unlawfully accepted by Balbir Singh and Malwinder Singh Sidhu. After this, the said Balbir Singh and Malwinder Singh Sidhu also received a bribe of Rs. two lakh to avail the victim more time from his department to complete this enquiry.
The spokesperson further added that Malwinder Singh Sidhu, has dishonestly mentioned himself as AIG/IG of Vigilance Bureau, in connivance with Balbir Singh, in the departments of Scheduled Castes and Freedom Fighters thereby procured records of several individuals, only to later initiate complaints against them, blackmailing them and extracting bribes in exchange for retracting these complaints. As the investigation unfolds in coming days, it is likely that more accomplices may be implicated, which would be duly probed throughout the investigation.