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Ex-PPSC chairman gets seven years jail, Rs. 1 crore penalty

Chandigarh : A court in Punjab on Tuesday sentenced former Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) chairman Ravinder Singh Sidhu to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment. It also slapped a fine of Rs.1 crore on him.

Sidhu and three others were convicted by the court in the multi-million rupee cash-for-job scam that was busted by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in 2002.

The quantum of punishment to Sidhu and others was announced on Tuesday by the court of Additional Sessions Judge Pushpinder Kaur in Patiala, 80 km from here.

Two other people convicted in the graft case got rigorous imprisonment of four years each while one person was sentenced for two years.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau had registered a case against Sidhu, his family members and others in 2002 after the multi-million rupee cash-for-jobs scam was unearthed. The appointments made during Sidhu’s tenure were quashed by the court.

The PPSC makes selections and appointments for class-I jobs in Punjab.

Sidhu, a former journalist, his mother Pritpal Kaur, brother Reetinder Singh, sister-in-law Ajinder Kaur, PPSC secretary Pritpal Singh and others were booked under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

Sidhu’s mother and sister-in-law were declared proclaimed offenders.

The vigilance bureau recovered crores of rupees from lockers and other premises of Sidhu and his family members as it found that he had amassed assets beyond his known sources of income.

Sidhu was nabbed “red-handed” on March 25, 2002, while accepting a bribe of Rs.5 lakh from excise and taxation inspector Bhupjit Singh.