Forest Scam: ED Raids on Premises of Two ex-Punjab Ministers; Seizes Incriminating Documents

(Judicial Quest News Network)

02 December 2023, New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has issued a statement on Friday, mentioning its investigation pertains to charges of “bribery” in the state forest department against the issuance of permit for tree felling and for transfer/posting in the department, among some other allegations.

The premises of former Punjab ministers Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Sangaht Singh Gilzian as part of investigating a multi-crore-rupee forest scam of the last Congress tenure from a money laundering angle.

 ED initiated investigation on the basis of a FIR registered by Vigilance Bureau, Punjab under various sections of IPC, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in relation to various irregularities being committed in the Forest Department with respect to receipt of bribe by the concerned Ministers/officers of Forest Department against issuance of permit for felling of Khair trees, transfer/posting in Forest Department, issuance of NOC from Forest Department, purchase of tree guards by Forest Department etc.

 ED investigation revealed that bribes had exchanged hands in relation to issuance of permit for tree felling, for transfer/posting in Forest Department, etc.

During the search operations, various incriminating documents, mobile phones/digital devices etc. have been seized which, prima-facie, reveal suspicious transactions involving persons who are under investigation under the provisions of PMLA, 2002.

Further investigation is under progress.

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