Himachal Vigilance To Frame Charges In CD Case Against Virbhadra Singh By February

Shimla: Investigation in the CD case against union steel minister Virbhadra Singh is in the final stage, whereby the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau hope to file a charge sheet in the court by mid February, top vigilance officials stated here today.

Giving the years round up, Daljit Manhas, DGP vigilance said that with a work force of 92 investigation officers, number of cases registered by the bureau in 2009 were 164, which were substantially higher than the 95 registered in 2008 and the 81 in 2007.

In the high profile CD case against Virbhadra Singh, he said that the bureau was awaiting a final report from the Central Forensic State Laboratory (CFSL) on some specific points raised by the investigators over the recorded phone conversation.

The two decade old taped conversations are reported to contain conversation about illegal transactions.

Manhas said that of the 9 people that figure or are referred to in the conversation, 4 have died. The case registered is under prevention of corruption act and the steel minister Virbhadra Singh had responded to the questionnaire that the bureau had put to him.

Without ruling out arrests or the need for a prosecution sanction for any constitutional agency Manhas said, “By middle of February, the bureau would be able to frame charges in the CD case. As we understand there is no need for prosecution sanction in the case”.

During 2009, the bureau had disposed of 96 case and was awaiting prosecution sanction in another 30 cases. “There were 59 gazette officers against whom there were vigilance inquiries or cases,” he said, “which included IAS officers Subash Ahluwalia, Sanjay Gupta and Ashwani Kapoor.”

Compared to 16 trap cases in 2007 involving Rs 1.21 lakh illegal money, in 2008 there were 24 such cases with the amount having increased to Rs 5.53 Lakhs. In 2009, there were 44 trap cases that involved illegal money worth Rs 38.69 lakhs, he said. In all 46 officials were caught red handed of which 43 were men and 3 women.

Highest number of officials caught red handed were from revenue department, followed by PWD, panchayati raj institutions, town and country development / urban development, police, education, cooperatives, health, fire in that order, he said.

A major proxy teacher scam was unearthed in Sirmaur, 11 cases in a bitumen scam have been registered involving an embezzlement of Rs 1 crore, and 12 cases were registered in upgradation of contractors.

The bureau had also registered 15 cases under Forest Act involving illicit timer or wild life skins or other produce worth Rs 56 lakhs.

At the close of the year, there were 528 complaints pending of which 186 were more than a year old, said Manhas.

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