Haryana refers fungicide purchase matter to CBI

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 14, 2015 00:16 IST

Barely two weeks after it referred the matter pertaining to alleged irregularities in the purchase of Raxil fungicide by the previous Congress regime to the central vigilance commission (CVC) for a probe, the Haryana government on Wednesday sent a reference to the Central government for a CBI probe into the matter.

The fresh reference was sent in supersession of the reference made to CVC which was sent without citing any justification or grounds for initiating a probe. This means that government will withdraw the reference sent to the CVC.

The reference for a CBI probe was sent by the state government under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act to the department of personnel and training, granting state government's consent to probe the matter.

The move to refer the matter to CBI for a probe was embarked upon by the BJP government after it realised that reference sent by the agriculture department for a CVC probe would fall flat in the absence of any justification or grounds. This would have caused major embarrassment to the state government.

Neither the July 24 communication sent by special secretary, agriculture, to chief vigilance commissioner, CVC nor the file notings annexed with it mentioned any justification or grounds for a CVC probe into the fungicide purchase.

In fact chief secretary DS Dhesi had also asked the state agriculture department on July 9 to spell out the reasons for making a reference to CVC for initiating a probe into alleged irregularities in fungicide purchase.

Even though the CVC Act clearly said that the commission did not have jurisdiction over the state government organisations and it can only probe the matter involving IAS and IPS officers serving with the Central government, Haryana agriculture minister OP Dhankar had in April recommended a CVC probe into the purchase, taking the argument that it involved central funds and Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture recommended necessary action in the matter.

Haryana's communication sent to the CVC said that the state government had taken a decision for 100% treatment of certified wheat seed with Raxil 2 DS for rabi 2010-11 on the professional recommendation of Haryana Agricultural University. The programme for 100% treatment of certified wheat seed was still continuing in the state. A case regarding this is sub-judice in the high court and a petition having similar issues regarding treatment of wheat seed was dismissed in 2011 by the high court, it said.

The file noting annexed with the reference also nowhere mentioned any reasons or grounds for making a reference to the CVC. On the contrary, the noting said that no case is made out to refer the matter to the CVC.

"The matter is sub-judice in the high court and referring it to CVC without the prior approval of the court may amount to contempt of court..,’’ said the file noting penned by additional director, agriculture.

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