HP VB files another challan against Anurag Thakur

  • Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2014 23:47 IST

The state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau on Monday filed the third challan against Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) chief Anurag Thakur and 10 others in connection with a case of razing a government building in violation of norms, for construction of the Dharamsala Cricket Stadium.

The challan was presented in the court of district and sessions judge.

Others, whose names have been figured in the chargesheet are HPCA officials Sanjay Sharma, Attar Singh Negi, Gautam Thakur, two Indian Administration Service (IAS) officers KK Pant (the then Kangra deputy commissioner) and PC Dhiman (the then education principal secretary) and Himachal Administrative Service (HAS) officer OP Sharma, who was then director of higher education.

The prosecution sanction of Pant and Dhiman is awaited from the central government and the supplementary chargesheet will be filed when the saction will be granted from the Centre.

Besides, two former principals of Dharamsala Government College Narender Awasthi and Lalit Mohan Sharma, along with executive engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) Devi Chand Chauhan and retired sub divisional officer MC Katoch, have also been named in the chargesheet.

The court has listed the matter for hearing on December 2.

FIR in the case was lodge by vigilance bureau on October 3, 2013 under Section 447 and 120-B of the IPC (Prevention of Damage to Public Property), and Section 13-C of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Vigilance bureau has accused the HPCA of razing a two-storey building belonging to the department of Higher Education.

The building, comprising residential quarters of the faculty of Government College, was located near the main gate of the international cricket stadium. It was allegedly demolished in 2008. The land, measuring 720 square meters, on which the building stood, was later encroached upon by the cricket body.
The investigating agency alleged that the HPCA had pleaded in 2008 before Pant that "ramshackle" house adjoining the cricket stadium was posing a threat to their infrastructure.

Following the request from the sports body, the Kangra DC convened a meeting at his office on March 14, 2008, which was attended by PWD officials, college authorities and a HPCA office-bearer.
In the meeting, the college principal was directed to give in writing to the PWD to declare the building unsafe.

However, the PWD officials declared the building unsafe a month before receiving the request from the college authorities, without getting any technical survey done.

The vigilance bureau accused the PWD and education department officials of conniving with the HPCA in declaring the building unsafe.

The building was later razed, even as district authorities had not issued demolition orders.
Interestingly, the building still exists in the official records of the education department. The vigilance bureau has already filed two challans against the HPCA in a case of cheating and public breach of trust and felling green trees for construction of high-end resort 'The Pavilion'.

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