A court in Bathinda on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant against former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal in connection with alleged irregularities in the purchase of a property.
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau had registered a case against Badal and five others in connection in the matter. Three of them had been arrested.
The arrest warrant was issued by the court of additional chief judicial magistrate in Bathinda.
A lookout circular (LOC) had been issued against the former minister on Monday after teams of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau conducted raids at the residence of Badal, who joined the BJP after quitting the Congress in January, in Muktsar to nab him.
Badal's counsel Sukhdeep Singh said the pre-arrest bail application has been withdrawn from the court in Bathinda and a fresh bail application will be filed in the matter.
He said that the vigilance bureau informed the court that the FIR has been lodged in this case.
The counsel said when the pre-arrest bail was moved no FIR was registered against Badal.
Besides Badal, former Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) chief administrator Bikramjit Shergill, Rajiv Kumar, Amandeep Singh, Vikas Arora and Pankaj have been booked in the matter.
Rajiv Kumar, Amandeep Singh and Vikas Arora have already been arrested.
The vigilance bureau had launched an investigation into the matter based on former MLA Sarup Chand Singla's 2021 complaint alleging irregularities in the purchase of the property at a prime location in Bathinda.
BJP leader Singla, who was earlier with the Shiromani Akali Dal, had alleged that Badal, as a minister in the previous Congress dispensation, had abused his position to convert two commercial plots into a residential plot for himself.
A case was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code including sections 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery), and also under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
During the probe, it was found that Badal abused his position to purchase two plots measuring 1,560 square yards in Model Town phase-1 Bathinda, thereby causing a financial loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer, according to the vigilance bureau.
It was found that Badal allegedly colluded with the officials of the BDA and misled the general public during the bidding of plots in the year 2021. Fake maps were uploaded to prevent public participation in the bidding process, the bureau alleged.