HPCA land case

The Congress government got sanction to initiate proceedings from Governor Urmila Singh against former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal for alleged wrongdoing in allotment of land to the state cricket body led by his parliamentarian son Anurag Thakur.

The state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau last week sought the nod to prosecute two BJP leaders and his MP son Anurag Thakur, who is also a HPCA president.

Eighteen people have been named in the vigilance charge sheet while five were named accused in getting the land allotted for constructing a players` residential complex near the stadium in Dharamsala. The accused are Dhumal, Thakur, additional chief secretary Deepak Sanan, deputy commissioner Ajay Sharma and additional deputy commissioner Gopal Chand.

Sanan and Chand were posted in the revenue department when the land was allotted to the HPCA, while Sharma was the state Youth Services and Sports director. At that time, R.S. Gupta, whose name is also included in the charge sheet, was posted in Dharamsala where the disputed land is located.

However, sanction to prosecute Anurag Thakur, the joint secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is yet to be sought, but it’s learned that the state has approached the central government to prosecute bureaucrats Sanan and Sharma.

The BJP leader, however, denied any wrongdoing in the allotment of land to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) when he was Chief Minister. He called the move “highly regrettable and unfair”. He termed it unfair and stated that he wasn’t even given an opportunity even to explain his case. He accused Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of indulging in personal and political vendetta. He stated that the prosecution sanction has been managed on the behest of the chief minister, who’s corruption case is coming up for hearing in Delhi High Court.

The vigilance bureau in August last year filed a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA.