Monday holds much significance for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) as the state vigilance bureau is likely to file its chargesheet in a Dharamsala court regarding a cheating and misappropriation case registered against the sports body on August 1, 2013.
HPCA’s petition seeking quashing of the case’s FIR is also listed for final hearing in the Himachal Pradesh high court on the same day.
In the FIR, the vigilance bureau has named 18 people, including HPCA chief Anurag Thakur, his father and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, functionaries of the HPCA, and eight serving and retired bureaucrats.
The HPCA is under investigation for allegedly converting a registered society into a company illegally. The vigilance bureau had registered a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA on August 1, 2013, over alleged irregularities in land allotment and for constructing a residential complex, The Pavilion, for players near the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala. Later, another FIR was registered against the sports body for grabbing government land on the stadium premises.
The vigilance inquiry into the HPCA affairs that lasted for a year, has also indicted Dhumal for influencing the decision of his cabinet to lease out land for The Pavilion. The governor had granted sanction to prosecute Dhumal in the case on April 2.
The inquiry has also found the involvement of additional chief secretary Deepak Sannan, who had as principal secretary (revenue) had given permission to lease out land for the construction of the residential complex, which was later converted into a high-end hotel. The probe alleged that Sannan had changed the land of use on his own discretion. Retired IAS officer RS Gupta has also been named in the probe for endorsing Sannan’s orders. Gupta was deputy commissioner of Kangra at that time.
The probe has also indicted IAS officer Ajay Sharma, who was then the director of sports and youth services. The papers for seeking permission to prosecute Sanan, and Sharma, have been sent to the department of personnel and training (DoPT) of Government of India.
Meanwhile, in its petition before the high court, the HPCA has claimed that the FIR registered against it was vague, malicious and a fallout of political vendetta.