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Punjab: Vigilance Bureau Arrests Former Deputy CM OP Soni Over Disproportionate Assets

Following an FIR against him for amassing disproportionate assets during 2016 and 2022, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau arrested Congress leader and former deputy chief minister OP Soni on Sunday.

Former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni Arrested
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The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Sunday arrested Congress leader and former deputy chief minister O P Soni for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during 2016 to 2022.

An FIR was registered on Sunday under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act at Vigilance Bureau Police Station, Amritsar Range against Soni following investigations in the inquiry, which was ordered on October 10, 2022, a VB spokesperson said.

The spokesperson, in an official statement, said that "during the check period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2022, the income of the former Deputy CM and his family was Rs 4,52,18,771 while the expenditure was Rs 12,48,42,692, which was Rs 7,96,23,921 or 176.08 per cent more than his known sources of income".

"During this period, accused OP Soni had made properties in the name of his wife Suman Soni and son Raghav Soni," he claimed.

The spokesperson said further investigations in this case are on.

Earlier, Soni had appeared before the VB in Amritsar and joined investigation. Before demitting his office, he had promised to give the bureau all details of his moveable and immovable properties.

The investigation is a result of an anonymous complaint the bureau had received accusing Soni of amassing properties beyond his known sources of income.

In May, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau had arrested former Congress MLA Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon for allegedly amassing "huge wealth" than his known sources of income, officials had said earlier.

The Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government has said it has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption and will proceed in accordance with law against anyone who indulges in any wrongdoing.

Earlier, Congress leaders and former Punjab Ministers, including Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, have faced vigilance cases under the present dispensation.

Under the present AAP dispensation, Congress leader and former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has also appeared before the Vigilance Bureau a few times in connection with a disproportionate assets case. Channi has described the probe as "totally political".

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