Four months after a complaint was lodged, the state’s Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the properties owned by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his sons.
The bureau has prepared a dossier, listing 31 properties, allegedly owned by Dhumal and his sons -- Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief and MP Anurag Thakur and Arun Dhumal.
The dossier was prepared on the basis of a complaint filed by a Dharamshala-based lawyer, who had sought a vigilance probe into the properties owned by the Dhumals within and outside the state.
The complainant had demanded that the vigilance ascertain the sources from which the properties had been bought. The complainant had alleged that the family owned land, flats and other properties in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chandigarh and Jalandhar.
The complainant had also listed the properties owned by Dhumals across the state, which included chunks of land in Kullu, Palampur, Dharamshala and Kangra.
Four months after the complaint was lodged, the bureau has now suggested to the government to get the matter investigated by the CBI. “Since a majority of the properties lie outside the state, we have suggested a CBI probe,” a bureau official told HT, on condition of anonymity.
On the other hand, Dhumals have termed the complaint against them as a ploy to defame them. “The government is free to conduct any probe into the properties as there is nothing illegal about them,” said Arun Dhumal, when contacted.
After assuming power in the state, the Congress had ordered an inquiry into the chunk of land bought by Anurag close to Dharamsala. The Congress had alleged that the land was bought from the poor, who had been rendered landless.
The war between the two top political families of the state had escalated soon after the Congress government took over. Virbhadra had ordered an inquiry into the chargesheet prepared by the Congress that was handed over to President Pranab Mukherjee. The Congress had alleged that the BJP government had allowed the sale of land to non-agriculturist Himachalis in violation of the Land Tenancy Act.