Punjab Vigilance Bureau arrests former minister Sunder Sham Arora for offering bribe

CHANDIGARH, Oct 16: Former Punjab minister and BJP leader Sunder Sham Arora was arrested by the state vigilance bureau for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to one of its officers to help him clear his name in the inquiries against him, a top official said on Sunday.
Arora was arrested on Saturday night in Zirakpur in Mohali when he tried to allegedly handover the cash to the Assistant Inspector General of the vigilance bureau.
He is the third former minister of the previous Congress Government to be arrested after the AAP Government came to power in March this year.
Earlier, the vigilance bureau had arrested former ministers Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Bharat Bhushan Ashu in different cases.
Arora has been facing inquiries in a disproportionate assets case and alleged irregularities during his tenure as industries minister in the previous Congress Government.
Arora joined the BJP after quitting the Congress in June this year. Varinder Kumar, chief director of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, on Sunday told reporters that Arora was arrested for allegedly offering Rs 50 lakh as a bribe to the vigilance officer to “help” him in these cases.
Kumar said Arora allegedly contacted AIG Manmohan Kumar Sharma, who is supervising the inquiries, on October 14 and told him to help him clear his name in the inquiries.
The former minister allegedly offered to pay Rs one crore for it, said Kumar. He offered to pay Rs 50 lakh as the first instalment and the remaining amount later, the Chief Director said.
After Sharma brought it to the notice of his seniors, a case was registered and a trap was laid to arrest Arora.
He was arrested when he tried to handover a bag containing Rs 50 lakh cash, Kumar said.
A case under relevant section of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against him, said Kumar.
Arora will be later in the day produced before a court in Mohali. He has been under vigilance scanner for the alleged irregularities in the allotment of industrial plots of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation when he was the industries minister in the previous Government.
Soon after the AAP formed Government in Punjab, it had said that there would be zero tolerance towards corruption.
Former minister Dharamsot, who was the forest minister in the Amarinder Singh-led Government, was arrested in June in a corruption case. Ex-minister Sangat Singh Gilzian, who was the forest minister in the Charanjit Singh Channi-led government, was booked in the same corruption case.
Former Food and Civil Supplies minister Ashu was arrested in August in an alleged food grain transportation scam. (Agencies)