Enforcement Directorate raids Patiala residence of PCS officer

Patiala, October 11: A team of Enforcement Directorate raided the house of PCS officer Anand Sagar Sharma, an accused in the multi-crore Hoshiarpur land scam, in Patiala on Wednesday morning.

The team was led by Assistant Director Ajai Singh.

Sharma was booked by the Vigilance Bureau along with 12 others, including revenue officials, Akali leaders and land owners of Hoshiarpur. The case pertains to the acquisition of 103 acres of land for widening of national highway along the Hoshiarpur-Chintpurni road.
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The preliminary inquiry showed embezzlement of Rs 59 crore. After the matter first got reported in June 2016, the Vigilance Bureau registered the case on February 10, 2017. The ED had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in June this year and started a probe into the financial irregularities.

The EC had removed Sharma as the Returning Officer of the Gidderbaha Assembly segment after the Vigilance Bureau booked him in the land scam, wherein compensation was allegedly awarded at inflated rates to influential local leaders while acquiring land for four-laning of NH-70. The Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had taken note of the scam.

In the meantime, Sharma, who was suspended as SDM Gidderbaha in March this year and had been on the run, had got bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court and on September 28, he got reinstated and was posted as Assistant Commissioner General at Fatehgarh Sahib.

The raid is still on.