Giving a big relief to Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur, the Supreme Court has stayed the orders of Himachal Pradesh High Court in which the High Court had denied to quash the registration of FIR against HPCA, Anurag Thakur, Sanjay Sharma, Gautam Thakur and others in an alleged case of land grab. Himachal Pradesh police had registered FIR against the petitioners, alleging them of encroaching 720 square meter land of education department.
Putting a stay on the orders of High Court, the Supreme Court has also restrained the trial court from proceeding in the matter. In their petition in the Supreme Court, HPCA and others had pleaded that the it was a politically motivated case and was registered on the insistence of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The Supreme Court has also asked Himachal Pradesh Government and Chief Minister to file affidavit in the matter.
On Apr 6, Himachal Pradesh High Court had dismissed HPCA petition to bar the hearing and action on the FIR lodged against some official to demotion staff quarter of college staff while constructing the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium. The matter come forth to the court in 2014 as the peitition was moved by the HPCA and the Court allowed to stayed the proceeding in case however after getting clearance. The case pertained to last BJP government regarding demolition of staff quarter of Education Department. FIR has been registered after the thorough investigation was done by the investigating agency.
It is worthwhile to mentioned that Himachal Pradesh State Vigilance (SV) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on had arrested a former Sub-Divisional Officer of HPPWD, M.C. Katoch from Palampur on Nov 19 2013. Mr. Katoch lodged by sleuth for demolition of public asset for allegedly conniving with local cricket body while serving in public works department, an official confirmed. Mr. Katoch has been accused of declaring a government college building comprising employee quarters located near the main gate of the HPCA’s picturesque stadium in Dharamshala unsafe. The building was demolished in 2008.
Later, the HPCA encroached on the land vacated after the building demolition. The former principal of college Mr. Narinder Awasthi who did not raised objection during the demolition had also been made party by the agency had been issued arrest warrant. Agency alleged that Mr. Katoch took the decision to declare the building unsafe without getting its technical survey report. In fact, at the time of demolition it was repaired just a year back (2007). A fresh land demarcation had been carried out by the revenue officials and found that the HPCA has encroached on 3,000 square meter government land. It was estimated that the encroachment was on 720 square meter land.