The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday dismissed the state cricket body’s petition seeking quashing of a First Information Report (FIR) against it and its chief Anurag Thakur under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had filed a cheating and misappropriation case in August 2013 against the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) over alleged wrongdoing in allotment of land to the sports body for constructing a residential complex for players near its stadium in Dharamsala, 250 km from Shimla.
Acting Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir reserved the order April 7 after hearing the arguments of both parties — HPCA and the state. The former pleaded that the FIR was vague, malicious and a result of political vendetta. Counsel for the petitioner had urged the court to direct the state to not file any charge sheet before the trial court.
Advocate General Shravan Dogra assured the court that the investigating agency would not act in this regard till a decision was taken by the high court. Counsel for the petitioners contended that the FIR did not disclose any offence committed by them and all actions were taken during the normal course of action being performed by the HPCA and its functionaries.
However, the state defended the action of the investigation agency, contending that the probe had been completed and the agency was ready to file the charge sheet.
The state government April 2 got sanction to initiate proceedings against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for alleged wrongdoing in allotment of land during his regime (2002-07) to the HPCA, led by his son and Lok Sabha member Anurag Thakur, also a joint secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Mr. Dhumal, however, denied any wrongdoing. The Congress — then in opposition — had objected to the land allotment.
Charge sheet filed
A charge sheet was filed in a court against Mr. Dhumal and Mr. Thakur, among others for constructing a residential complex for players near its stadium.