There seems to be no end to the woes of former director general of police Daljeet Singh Manhas. The Himachal Pradesh government has now approached the union home department seeking permission to initiate disciplinary action against Manhas for his involvement in a case related to bugging of a room in the state-owned guest house at Chandigarh, which was occupied by chief minister Virbhadra Singh who was a union minister at that time.
A probe conducted by police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) has revealed that the then union steel minister Virbhadra Singh’s room was bugged in Chandigarh. The CID had taken nearly a year to conduct the investigations. The probe established that the room was bugged but it failed to find any voice excerpts.
Sleuths detected that personnel of the CID’s technical wing had visited Chandigarh and fixed a bugging device beneath the table in a room where Virbhadra Singh was staying.
Daljeet Singh Manhas was the DGP at the time when the CID’s technical wing attempted to bug Virbhadra Singh’s room in Chandigarh. Manhas’ successor, also a former director general of police, was additional director general of police and headed the CID at that time.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh had constantly accused his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal of snooping on him and other leaders of the Congress during the Bharatiya Janata Party regime.
On assuming power, the Congress had ordered a probe to ascertain the veracity.
During the investigation, the CID had questioned the police personnel who were allegedly assigned the task of fixing a listening device under a table in a room in the state-owned guest house. The probe found that the men who had been sent from Shimla had also met chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s security guards.
The police also questioned the manager of Himachal Bhawan, Chandigarh. Besides, the cops had also checked the travel allowance bills of the personnel who were assigned the task to bug the room.
The probe revealed that the voice captured through the bugging device from the room was not audible and the cops were not able to achieve the real purpose.
The government has sought permission from the home department to initiate departmental action against Manhas, a senior government functionary confirmed to Hindustan Times.
Under the rules, it is mandatory to seek permission from the central government to initiate action against an IAS or IPS officer, till four years of his or her retirement. Manhas had retired from the service in August 2012. He was succeeded by ID Bhandari who was removed following the phone tapping row.
Recently, following the government directions, the state anti-corruption and vigilance bureau had booked former director general of police Daljit Singh Manhas and his wife Anju Manhas for flouting construction norms.
Manhas and his wife are accused of constructing an additional storey and compounding it without seeking mandatory permission from the municipal corporation. They are the joint owners of the house, constructed near St Bede’s College here. Building was constructed when Manhas was the municipal commissioner, Shimla.