Himachal cricket body row: IAS officer quizzed

Dharamsala, Jan 6 : Senior IAS officer K.K. Pant, who is currently on a central deputation, was quizzed Monday by the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau over affairs of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), an official said here.

Pant is currently joint secretary in the defence ministry.

"Pant was given a set of questionnaires. Later, he was posed more queries to clear some doubts about his replies," a senior investigating official told IANS.

"If required, he will be summoned again," he added.

The investigating agency has registered a case against the HPCA and government officials for allegedly demolishing a government building adjoining the cricket stadium paving way for the expansion of the stadium's boundary wall here.

Official sources said Pant was summoned as he was the deputy commissioner of Kangra in 2008 when a decision was taken to demolish the building.

Pant, who was summoned earlier also but did not appear, was the first IAS officer who was questioned by the vigilance bureau in the HPCA controversy, said an official.

Earlier, the vigilance bureau had filed a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA over alleged wrongdoings in allotment of land, which according to revenue records was the common village land, to the sports association for constructing a residential complex for the players near the stadium here.

The disputed land, three km from the picturesque international stadium, has been used by the HPCA to build a five-star residential complex called The Pavilion, which has 38 rooms, 32 huts and a high-tech gym.

The land was allotted when a Bharatiya Janata Party government, headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, was in power in the state.

HPCA president Anurag Thakur, who was questioned by the vigilance bureau in November last, is the son of Dhumal.

The HPCA has also been accused of encroaching upon land of the state sports and youth services department.

--IANS (Posted on 07-01-2014)

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