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Pearls scam: CBI wants Nirmal Bhangoo back in Tihar jail

Chandigarh,  The CBI and the Bathinda jail authorities have sought the discharge of Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, the prime accused in the Rs 45,000-crore Pearls Group scam, from a private hospital in Mohali. He is facing trial in Delhi for allegedly duping around 5.5 crore investors of Pearl Group of Companies by promising them agricultural plots and high returns on their investments.
The CBI has written to the Punjab Prisons Department to return Bhangoo to Tihar Jail so that he can face trial, while the Bathinda jail Superintendent has asked the Health Department to form a board of doctors to examine his health.
The CBI had, in January 2016, arrested the Pearls Group chairman. He was lodged in Tihar Jail. In May 2016, another FIR was lodged against him in Bathinda. He was brought to Bathinda on remand and, subsequently, admitted to a private hospital in Mohali. Bhangoo has been admitted to the hospital for almost eight months. He allegedly enjoys a special status in the hospital.
The hospital discharged him twice. It even wrote to the Bathinda jail for transferring him back to the jail. But as per jail records, he developed some problem while being discharged and was re-admitted twice. Hundreds of duped investors protested several times outside the hospital. Four jail guards and a team of bouncers keep a round-the-clock vigil at him in a special room of the hospital.
Bhangoo was the main sponsor of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s pet event — Kabaddi World Cup. “What can we do if he is still in the private hospital for eight months? We go by what doctors say about his health?” said Joga Singh, Superintendent, Bathinda jail. “We have written to the Mohali Civil Surgeon to form a board of doctors and examine his health. Maybe because of elections or some other reason, he has not responded,” he said.
Bathinda police officials said Bhangoo was in the hospital with the permission of the high court.

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