Akali family accused of swindling Punsup’s Rs 7-crore paddy

Faridkot, January 10

A SGPC member’s son was sentenced to one-year jail along with Rs 10,000 fine each in four cases of cheque dishonour here today.

Though SGPC member Gurwinder Kaur Bholuwala was also one of the main accused in this case, the court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Faridkot, acquitted her, giving her benefit of doubt.

The family of Harjit Singh Bholuwala, chairman of the district planning committee, Faridkot, has been embroiled in a case of alleged pilferage of 27,000 quintals of paddy for the past over four years.

Bholuwala family has a rice mill in the name of his wife Gurwinder Kaur and son Ramandeep Singh in Faridkot.

It is alleged that the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (Punsup) had stored 1.11 lakh bags of paddy in the rice mill of the Akali leader in October 2011 for milling and shelling.

Of this, the rice miller did not deliver 27,000 quintals of paddy after milling.

In October 2013, Punsup lodged a complaint with the local police, demanding registration of a criminal case against the SGPC member and her son for allegedly pilfering its paddy worth over Rs 7 crore. However, the police did not register any case.

Disappointed with the police, the Punsup started pursuing its legal cases in the local court against the Akali leader for the recovery of misappropriated paddy.

Under pressure, the accused then agreed to pay the amount in installments. In the first installment, cheque for Rs 1.12 crore bounced, following which Punsup started legal proceedings under the Negotiable Instrument Act.

Punsup filed a complaint in the local court against the Akali leader, demanding action in cheque bounce case.

While the police authorities in Faridkot claimed that the economic offence wing was still probing the allegations against the Akali leader, some time back the Punsup had moved an application in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge to pledge all properties of the accused for the recovery of the money.