Senior Punjab government official arrested for graft


Chandigarh : A senior Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer was arrested by the state vigilance bureau late Wednesday for accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 for favouring a complainant.

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According to the vigilance officials, 1995-batch PCS officer T.K. Goel, joint secretary in the department of welfare board (Scheduled Castes and backward class people), was caught while taking the bribe. He has been booked under various sections of the anti-corruption laws.

“Our squad had laid a trap and arrested Goel from his office in Chandigarh last evening while accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 from George Shubh, a resident of Begowal village in Kapurthala district, Punjab,” said B.K. Bawa, inspector general of police-cum-director of the vigilance bureau.

He added, “Shubh, who is from Balmiki caste, had applied to the Kapurthala deputy commissioner for his nomination as a revenue officer (numbardar) of Begowal village on the basis of his caste. However, his case was rejected on the ground that he had adopted Christianity and could not be considered under the Balmiki quota.”

Bawa said Shubh filed a complaint against this decision before the chairman of the Scheduled Castes Commission, Punjab. The commission referred this complaint to the director of the state welfare board for the verification.

The final report was sent to Goel, who was also the in-charge of the scrutiny committee on such matters.

“Goel called me to his office twice during the last month and demanded Rs. 50,000 for sending a favourable report to the commission. I told him that I am from a very poor family but he was very adamant. Therefore, I approached vigilance bureau last week,” said Shubh.

“Initially, he called me at the Mohali bus stop yesterday morning. He met me there and told me to come to his office with the money in the evening. I had arranged the money with the help of a friend,” Shubh said.

The vigilance bureau recovered the marked currency notes. Two senior employees of the Punjab irrigation department were also present during the raid.