HPCA case: Himachal govt to drop chargesheet against senior IAS officer

Despite the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances in 2014 rejecting its request seeking sanction to prosecute Deepak Sanan, the Congress government did not provide relief to the 1982-batch IAS officer.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla | Updated: February 7, 2018 5:03:17 am

Giving major relief to retired senior IAS officer Deepak Sanan, who was booked and chargesheeted in the HPCA case, the Himachal Pradesh government, according to highly places sources, has conceded his request of granting leave-encashment facility and also initiated the process to formally withdraw the chargesheet against him. When contacted Chief secretary Vineet Chawdhry said, “We are at an advanced stage of giving relief to Sanan. Entire matter has been examined in merit. He will get full justice.”

Sanan, a 1982-batch IAS officer who retired as Additional Chief Secretary in 2017, was named in an FIR registered by state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on August 1, 2013 under Section 120-B of the IPC and Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The FIR related to granting of land lease to HPCA for construction of “The Pavilion’ — a luxury hotel. The lease was sanctioned in November 2009 near Dharamsala for the limited purpose of construction of a residential building for players. Sanan as Principal secretary (Revenue) had conceded the HPCA request for allowing commercial use of the property.

A senior government official confirmed granting of Sanan’s request for leave encashment, which was denied to him by the previous Congress government. Apart from this his other plea about considering his study leave request has also been approved post-dated. “It was grave injustice to him when one officer’s study leave was allowed during same period and he was denied same,” said a top official. He added, “The personnel department has already processed Sanan’s case…Views of the law department are only requirement to be fulfilled. The case will be submitted to the Chief Minister for appropriate orders as per Cabinet decision to take back cases.”

The Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances in 2014 had rejected state government’s request for prosecution sanction, but the government did not grant him relief despite his repeated pleas. Apart from the FIR, Sanan was also served a chargesheet on July 13, 2013 by the government for allowing commercial use of government land leased for construction of five-star resort by the HPCA .

The officer had made a representation to the government saying that since Department of Personnel and Training (Government of India) had rejected the plea of the state government to grant sanction prosecute him, the chargesheet must be dropped as Section 120-B of the IPC cannot be applied independently. He had also made a representation to the President of India for dropping of his chargesheet explaining that since the Centre had turned down request of the Himachal government for his prosecution, the state government can’t sit over its illegal action .

It was only few days before state Assembly elections were announced, the government had decided to withdraw the chargesheet claiming it being done taking a sympathetic consideration. Sanan had then objected to the state’s claim of showing sympathetic
consideration.

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