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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Himachal CM gives nod to prosecute ex-DGP

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, July 22, 2014
First Published: 11:44 IST(22/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:47 IST(22/7/2014)

More trouble is in store for former director general of police ID Bhandari as chief minister Virbhadra Singh has given his nod to prosecute him in the infamous telephone tapping case.

The state anti-corruption and vigilance bureau had sought permission from the home department to prosecute Bhandhari.

The vigilance had submitted a draft chargesheet to the home department maintaining that telephone conservations were held in violation of Section 26 of the Indian Telegraph Act.

The draft chargesheet refers to the conversation found in the pen drive that was recovered from the office of police’s crime investigation department. Conservation in the pen drive were of the period from 2009 onwards, which otherwise should have been destroyed within six months in accordance to the rules of Indian Telegraphic Act.

Investigations concluded that conversations in the open drive were held back in violation of the Section 26 of the Indian Telegraph Act.

The Section 26 of Telegraph Act forbids the telegraph officers or others from altering or unlawfully intercepting, altering, disclosing, or divulging purport of signals.

Purportedly, the conversations found in the open drive dates back to the period when ID Bhandari headed the CID wing.

Sources have told Hindustan Times that the vigilance department had sought sanction to prosecute Bhandari under Section 197 of Criminal Procedure Act. After the chief minister acceded to prosecute Bhandari, matter was referred to the law department for seeking legal opinion.

Bhandari, a 1982 batch Indian Police Service officer, was appointed director general of police in July 2012. On assuming power, the Congress government headed by Virbhadra Singh ordered the seizure of computers at the technical wing of the CID.

Consequently, following investigations into the phone tapping, Bhandari was shifted to insignificant home guards department and the government appointed B Kamal Kumar as the DGP.

On superannuation of B Kamal Kumar, the government appointed Sanjay Kumar as the DGP. However, a day before his retirement in April this year, the government chargesheeted Bhandari for a case related to bugging of the chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s room.

The investigations concluded that the CID personnel sent from Shimla had bugged Virbhadra’s room in the state-owned guest house in Chandigarh, when he was union steel minister.

Probe concluded that room was bugged but it did not found any voice excerpts in device used for bugging.

Bhandari had time and again claimed that he was being implicated falsely in the cases.

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