RUDRAPUR: A court in Nainital has granted the special investigation team’s (SIT) plea for police remand of D P Singh, a key accused in the NH-74 land acquisition scam, on Sunday after the PCS official’s medical condition was found satisfactory by doctors at Sushila Tiwari Hospital (STH) in Haldwani. Though the SIT had sought seven day’s police remand of the accused, the court has given three days remand.
D P Singh was on Saturday admitted to the hospital after he complained of chest pain, high blood pressure and diabetes. Singh had surrendered in the SSP office at Rudrapur on Thursday after being on the run for over a month. On Friday evening, a special court in Nainital had granted three days police custody remand (PCR) of Singh on a plea filed by the SIT.
D P Singh, suspended provincial civil service (PCS) officer of Udham Singh Nagar district, courted controversy after he was named as a major accused in the multi-crore NH-74 land acquisition and compensation scan. Singh was on the run for over a month after his anticipatory bail pleas in the Uttarakhand high court and the Supreme Court were rejected.
After his surrender on Thursday, he was presented in the corruption prevention court at Nainital and was sent to Haldwani jail. Later in the evening, the plea for police custody of Singh was heard by Judge Kumkum Rani and she ordered a three-day police remand of Singh.
US Nagar SSP Sadanand Date said, “Investigation in the case so far suggests that D P Singh executed the scam in a planned manner, and, hence, we need to interrogate him thoroughly. We had appealed for seven days police remand of Singh but the court has given us 72 hours to question the accused. Though a day of remand is lost, SIT will try to extract more evidence in the scam from Singh. We might have to seek another remand period for D P Singh if needed.”
Chief of the SIT team, Swatantra Kumar Singh, told TOI that D P Singh was admitted to Sushila Tiwari Hospital on Saturday following health complaint. “His medical reports were found satisfactory on Sunday, and so we have taken him on police remand now. We will try to extract more info from him regarding the scam. The remand period is until Tuesday afternoon,” said Swatantra Kumar Singh.
Talking to TOI, the former minister in the Congress government Tilak Raj Behar said, “Why has SIT not acted against any official of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) though they were the first to be named in the FIR? Why is SIT not probing the irregularities in compensation cases that have emerged in the tehsils Bazpur, Gadarpur, and Kichha?”
Behar said that the SIT was working under political pressure. Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s letter to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat evidently proves that the scam is more than what it appears to the eye. Congress demands that the actions of the SIT be monitored by a retired judge of the high court, Behar said.