M A I N   N E W S

PK Dhumal, ex-IAS officer booked for corruption
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has registered an FIR against former Chief Minister PK Dhumal and retired Principal Secretary (Home) PC Kapoor for allegedly giving undue benefit to an IPS officer AN Sharma by allowing him to continue in service after seeking retirement and not following proper procedure.

The FIR was registered under Sections 420 and 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act at the Vigilance Police Station late last evening.

The complaint against Sharma, a 1989 IPS officer, regarding grant of undue benefit during the previous BJP regime headed by Dhumal was investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the bureau.

"Though the FIR mentions Sharma by name, Dhumal and Kapoor do not figure in it. But the designations held by them as Home Minister and Principal Secretary (Home) have been mentioned," said a Vigilance officer.

Dhumal as Chief Minister had retained the Home department, so his role in giving benefit to Sharma in violation of the norms will also be investigated. Dhumal said the government could do whatever they wish to.

Cherishing political aspirations, Sharma had given a three month notice to the state government as per rules for seeking retirement on December 31, 2007, said Vigilance sources. Even as his case was still being processed, he reportedly sought a waiver of one month and requested to be retired by November 21, 2007. The government acceded to his request and granted him retirement.

Meanwhile, Sharma, who had applied for the BJP ticket from Nadaun Assembly segment failed to find favour with the BJP high command, which issued the list of its candidates for the 2007 Assembly elections on November 26, 2007.

"Having failed to fulfil his political aspirations, Sharma then wrote a backdated letter with November 20 as the date, requesting for withdrawal of his services," revealed a police official.

The then Congress regime conveyed to him that as per his own request he had been granted retirement on November 21, 2007 and the backdated letter written by him too was received on November 28. However, with change of regime in Himachal and BJP assuming power, his retirement was withdrawn which was totally against rules, revealed an official. Sharma later approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) with the plea that he be allowed to continue in service on which he got a stay and while this was on the new BJP regime headed by Dhumal acceded to his plea to continue in service.





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