The day following the initiation of a case by the state's vigilance department concerning alleged improprieties in the acquisition of a property in Bathinda, the Punjab Police has issued a Look-Out Circular (LOC) at all airports for Manpreet Singh Badal, the former finance minister and BJP leader.
Manpreet Badal had previously submitted a pre-arrest bail application, scheduled for a hearing on September 26, but his attorney has now withdrawn it, stating their intention to present a new application in light of the registration of a First Information Report (FIR).
An FIR has been filed against him, as well as five others, in a land allotment case, encompassing sections of the law related to cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, and section 13(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which pertains to the punishment for criminal misconduct by a public servant. Additionally, charges under the Information Technology Act have been levied.
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau conducted searches at his residence in Sri Muktsar Sahib district yesterday. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann took a dig at Mr. Badal, remarking that individuals who once prided themselves on their integrity are now making extensive efforts to evade legal consequences.
"There is a huge difference between speaking the truth and standing by it," the chief minister said, as reported by NDTV.
He further pointed out that these leaders had previously stated their willingness to face any consequences resulting from their actions, but they are currently actively pursuing legal safeguards against potential arrests.
Sarup Chand Singla, a BJP leader who was formerly associated with the Shiromani Akali Dal, had accused Mr. Badal of exploiting his position as a minister in the previous Congress government to transform two commercial plots into a residential plot for his personal benefit.
Mr. Badal had switched to the BJP after resigning from the Congress in January of this year. Following his interrogation in July, Mr. Badal had alleged that Chief Minister Mann was attempting to stifle the voices of his political adversaries through such measures.