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A court here today rejected the bail application of a contractor who has been booked by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for alleged irregularities in works of the irrigation department causing loss of hundreds of crores to the state exchequer, officials said. The contractor, Gurinder Singh, had been booked under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with alleged irregularities in the allotment of tenders of the irrigation department. The public prosecutor contesting the case recorded that the bureau had been investigating illegal allotment of multi- crore projects in irrigation department to "a few favoured contractors" by certain officers who provided "tailor-made conditions of contracts" and ignored prescribed conditions and flouted all rules/regulations of tenders, an official spokesperson of the department said. During probe it was found that the officers gave "extra leverage" to the accused contractor, Gurinder Singh, in allotment of works to the tune of hundreds of crores and caused huge loss to the state exchequer, the spokesman said. The official said that after recording arguments of both the parties, the district court pronounced that custodial interrogation of the accused was "very much necessary" to ascertain how conditions suiting only him got imposed in number of works. While rejecting the urgings of the contractor, the court also ordered that the he did not deserve the leniency of bail as the investigation agency has to find out how the accused managed to get huge profits out of contacts as well as heavy withdrawals of cash and motive behind clearing the bank lockers after registration of this vigilance case, said the spokesman. The official said that vigilance bureau teams have conducted searches at various places for investigation purposes as the accused contractor had allegedly amassed huge wealth and acquired more than 30 properties worth Rs 100 crores illegally in Chandigarh, Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala and Noida. During 2006-07, the annual turnover of the contractor was only Rs 4.74 crore and it swelled to about Rs 300 crore by 2016-17, the spokesperson said. The contractor in conniving with officers of the irrigation department had also allegedly compromised with the quality and quantity of material in the works, according to the official.
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