HC dismiss HPCA plea to bar State in College staff quarter demotion case


The Himachal Pradesh High Court today dismissed Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) petition to bar the proceeding of FIR lodged against some official to demotion staff quarter of college staff while constructing the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium. Single judge bench of Himachal Pradesh High Court comprising of Justice Tralok Singh Chauhan today set aside the plea of HPCA to quash the FIR registered by the State police against the officials of State Government belonging to Prem Kumar Dhumal Government.


The matter had come forth to the Court in 2014 as the petition was moved by the HPCA and the Court allowed to stayed the proceeding in case. However after getting clearance with this petition HPCA and number other officers likely to face the investigation and trail. Talking to media persons, Advocate General Mr. Sharwan Dogra said that the case pertained to last BJP government regarding demolition of staff quarter of Education Department. The FIR has been registered after the thorough investigation was done by the investigating agency.


According to material collected by the agency HPCA was responsible and office bearers were responsible. Some of the Government officials who were responsible to take decision to demolish the building they are also accused, in that manner all those allegations which were there, those allegations have been now upheld in since that prosecution would continue further proceeding, AG said.


Now the criminal proceeding against HPCA, Anurag Thakur and other accused would start,” said the AG Himachal Pradesh High Court. It is worthwhile to mention that Himachal Pradesh State Vigilance (SV) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) 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 raise 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 has 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.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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