Punjab Minister recommended action against officer, file pending with CM
Chandigarh Jan 9 (IANS) Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had recommended a probe and action against a senior bureaucrat accused of selling antique artefacts but Chief Minister Amarinder Singh s office has not initiated any action in the matter.
An official spokesman claimed that Sidhu had taken "prompt action" by recommending a CBI probe against Cultural Affairs and Tourism Department s former Director Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa to the Chief Minister.
The spokesman quoting Sidhu said on Tuesday that the Minister had written to the Chief Minister on September 1 last year for a CBI probe against Randhawa.
"Sidhu wrote to the Chief Minister to demand a CBI probe against Randhawa. A copy of the letter was also sent to the Punjab Vigilance Bureau Director CBI Director and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Mumbai Zonal Unit " the spokesman said.
"In the letter dated September 1 2017 it was written that a letter from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence addressed to the Punjab Chief Secretary mentioned that Randhawa in connivance with Vijay Nanda sold antique artefacts from Punjab in the international market " the spokesman said.
"This officer remained in the department for a long period. So a thorough probe is needed to know how many antique artefacts were sent out of Punjab. This is a serious matter. Since the sale of antiques comes under Central Bureau of Investigation s jurisdiction the matter should be probed by the central agency " the spokesman added.
Sidhu s reaction came following media reports that the Punjab government had failed to take action against Randhawa a Punjab Civil Services officer despite the DRI letter to the Chief Secretary.
The DRI in its investigation regarding smuggling and illegal sale of artefacts from India to other countries had accused Randhawa of providing rare artefacts to Nanda a Mumbai-based antiques dealer. These artefacts of significant historical importance were sold abroad for millions of rupees.