Govt to Go Ahead With Prosecution of Dhumal in Sharma's Case

Govt to Go Ahead With Prosecution of Dhumal in Sharma's Case

Himachal government would soon file a challan against BJP leader and two-time chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for granting permission to former IPS officer A N Sharma to rejoin his duties after his resignation was accepted.

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau is all set to file the challan against Dhumal, the then chief secretary, Ravi Dhingra and the then Home secretary P C Kapoor, after Governor has granted prosecution sanction, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said.

The government had sent the file to Governor, Urmila Singh whose termed ended on January 26, for grant of prosecution sanction on January 2.

She returned the file on January 20 maintaining that her sanction was not required and quoted some relevant Supreme Court judgements in this context.

The matter was referred to the Law department which concurred with the Governor's opinion that prosecution sanction was not required in the case of former chief minister as per the law settled by the Supreme court.

The chief minister also said the former Governor had stated a correct position that her sanction was not required, as cases were filed against him by the then BJP government twice, as former chief minister and Union minister, but no prosecution sanction was sought either from the Governor or from the President of India.

Asserting that the government would go ahead with filing of challan in the court very soon, Singh said the former governor had quoted some important Supreme Court judgement in this regard and the settled law is that no such sanction was required from the Governor.

The case was registered against the then chief minister and two others under the Prevention of Corruption Act for granting permission to a retired IPS officer, A N Sharma for allowing him to rejoin duty after his resignation was accepted by the government.

Sharma had sought retirement as he was keen to contest the 2007 Assembly election from Nadaun constituency in Hamirpur but failed to secure the BJP ticket.

Later, he filed a case before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and obtained a stay which he later withdrew and made a request to the BJP government headed by Dhumal, which accepted his plea.

The Governor, while returning the file, also made some "harsh" comments against the concerned officers who knowingly concealed the settled position of law in such cases, and she even recommended a major penalty against them.

In her letter, the Governor pointed out that the Vigilance Bureau and prosecutors had not sought prosecution sanction from the Governor in a similarly situated case against Virbhadra Singh, the then former Chief Minister in CD case.

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