Going ahead with its investigation into the building razed for the expansion of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium in Dharamsala, the state anti-corruption and vigilance bureau has sent another questionnaire to former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
The bureau is seeking information on the demolition of the single-storey building which was in the possession of the education department and being used as residential quarters for the faculty of a college.
“We have asked Dhumal three or four questions in the questionnaire, which was sent to him a few days ago. He has been given a fortnight to file his reply,” a senior vigilance official told HT on the condition of anonymity.
The move comes in the wake of investigation conducted by the vigilance into the demolition of the building.
“Yes, I have received something from the vigilance department, and will file an appropriate reply to it. My counsels are examining the vigilance request,” Dhumal, who was in Samirpur, told HT over the telephone. Vigilance had earlier sent a questionnaire to Dhumal in another case related to the HPCA.
So far, investigators have concluded that Kangra deputy commissioner KK Pant on March 14, 2008, had conducted a meeting on the request of the HPCA, attended by the office-bearers of the HPCA, public works department and education department. During the meeting, Lalit Mohan Sharma, the principal of the Degree College for Boys and Girls functioning in the government building was asked to give a request to the PWD to declare the building unsafe.
After the meeting, Pant had forwarded details of the proceedings to the-then chief minister’s office. Pant is currently on central deputation in New Delhi. Vigilance sleuths had earlier quizzed him for his role in the demolition of the building.
Investigation also showed that in haste, the PWD officials had submitted a report declaring the building unsafe for residential purposes, without any technical survey. Besides, PWD engineers submitted the report nearly a month before it had received the request from the college authorities.
Since the home department had been asking that the investigation be completed soon, vigilance has again sought the nod to the prosecute those named in the supplementary chargesheet.
The bureau has written to the government for permission to prosecute two former principals of the college as well. Prosecution sanction was sought against Sharma for attending the meeting and forwarding the request for the demolition of the building, while the bureau had already booked former principal Narender Awasthi for concealing information about the demolished building. While Sharma is now retired, Awasthi is currently posted as the comptroller of examination in the Himachal Pradesh University.
Besides education department employees, HPCA office-bearers spokesman Sanjay Sharma and treasurer Attar Singh have also been named in the chargesheet.