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HindustanTimes Thu,30 Oct 2014

'Prioritise allegations for probe in Cong chargesheet'

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, April 30, 2013
First Published: 19:24 IST(30/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:26 IST(30/4/2013)

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday directed the anti-corruption and vigilance bureau to probe the Congress chargesheet against the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in accordance with the gravity of allegations.

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“Instead of probing the chargesheet in bulk, I have asked the vigilance bureau to prioritise allegations for investigations,” Singh said.

The chief minister asked the vigilance department to speed up probe into the 64-page Congress chargesheet.
It was just a month ago that the Congress government had handed over the chargesheet to the vigilance for investigation.

A team of the vigilance bureau headed by additional deputy inspector general (ACVB) Prithviraj Singh made a power point presentation to chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the home portfolio.

Chief secretary Sudripta Roy, principal secretary to chief minister VC Pharkha, home secretary Tarun Shridhar and DIG (ACVB) AP Singh were also present. Besides, both superintendent of police Dr Virender Tomar and Arvind Sharda were also present.

Through the presentation, the ACVB apprised about the gravity of allegations and the current status of case.

The construction of luxurious cottages by Bemloe developers in Beer Khana below the Shimla-Dhalli bypass figured on the top.

The construction of cottages ran into a controversy after the Congress had raised hue and cry about the “overnight” clearance given to the company by various departments.

The vigilance department has sought records pertaining to permission from both the district administration and the municipal corporation.

Irregularities into the land allotted to Jai Parkash Industries for construction of a cement plant was also highlighted. Besides, there were a number of allegations against the Hamirpur Lok Sabha member-led Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA). The allegations against the HPCA included land purchased on name of HPCA employee, permission granted for construction and running - Pavilion - high-end hotel ran by HPCA in Dharamsala. A resident from Dharamsala had filed a complaint over construction of the hotel.

Security provided by the police, free of cost, during different editions of the Indian domestic league matches was discussed in detail.

The vigilance department is seeking details about the security provided at HPCA's cricket stadium in Dharamsala.

There were a number of allegations pertaining to proxy land deals, which also includes the kith and kin of the then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his cabinet colleagues.

After the presentation, the chief minister sought details about the permission granted by the government to investigate various cases. The vigilance official complained about delays in sanctioning permission at the secretariat level.

The chief minister expressed anguish over delays in granting permission. He also pulled up officials for delay in granting permission. He directed the official concerned to expedite the permission process on files pending before the home department.

During the meeting, it was decided that the vigilance department would shortlist the allegations which were grave in nature and investigations in other allegations will follow.

“In consultation with the home department, we will shortlist at least a dozen allegations which will be probed thoroughly by the vigilance department,” an official of the vigilance bureau said.


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