Till now it was known that Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh, who relinquished her charge last week, had turned down state government’s proposal to grant prosecution sanction against former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in a case related to withdrawal of resignation of former IPS officer A N Sharma by the previous BJP regime.
It’s was believed that she had left it all upto the Congress government to go ahead with prosecution of Dhumal in the case.
However, the facts which are now coming to light suggest that three days before her term expired on January 24, Urmila Singh had sent a strongly worded communication to the government trashing the entire case registered by the State Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau under section 420 and 120 -B of IPC against two senior IAS officers viz Ravi Dhingra, former Chief Secretary and P C Kapoor and additional Chief Secretary rank officer (who was home secretary), beside A N Sharma. Dhumal was also later named in the chargehsheet.
In her two-page note signed on Januray 21, 2015 (copy of which is with The Indian Express ), Urmila Singh conveyed her serious displeasure to the government for concealing vital facts of the case and also circumstances under which prosecution sanction against former Chief Minister was sought from the Rajbhawan.
She accused certain officers in the state’s home and vigilance department of grave misconduct and hiding the facts while submitting the matter for prosecution sanction under section 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and recommended a disciplinary action.
The Governor quoted three different rulings of the Supreme Court in the cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to former Maharashtra Chief Minister A R Antulay, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and Abhay Chautala, wherein a clear law has been laid down that prosecution sanction was not required from the Governor.
“As regard to offences under IPC concerned prima-facie, the nature of the alleged offences in the instant case under section 420 and 120 -B IPC does not seem to be reasonably connected with the discharge of the official duty of the public servant hence prosecution sanction under section 179 (1) (b) of Cr PC is not required as settled by hon’ble Supreme Court in Parkash Singh Badal case ( 2007 (1) SCC-1,” reads the communication.
She also recalled that no prosecution sanction was sought by the government from the Governor in the case relating to controversial CD case of Virbhadra Singh .
The case made-out by the state’s vigilance agency relates to IPS officer A N Sharma—who had sought voluntary retirement from the government in November 2007 apparently to contest assembly elections on the BJP ticket.
However, since he was not given the party ticket, Sharma approached the Dhumal government to withdraw his offer. His request was accepted.