Mane­sar land row: Khat­tar govt cleared IAS of­fi­cer SS Dhillon

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - PUNJAB & HARYANA - Hi­ten­der Rao hrao@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: The Manohar Lal Khat­tar gov­ern­ment in Haryana, which rec­om­mended a CBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Mane­sar land deal case, had cleared for­mer IAS of­fi­cer Sudeep Singh Dhillon of charges of abuse of of­fi­cial po­si­tion and cor­rup­tion.

Dhillon, who was the di­rec­tor, town and coun­try plan­ning, when the land was re­leased by the state in­dus­tries depart­ment in 2007 has been ac­cused by the CBI in its chargesheet. How­ever, the find­ings of the state gov­ern­ment that a “case of abuse of of­fi­cial po­si­tion by the of­fi­cer has not been proved be­yond doubt and no case of bribe, graft or il­le­gal grat­i­fi­ca­tion has been made against him” could weaken the CBI’s case in the court.

Doc­u­ments ac­cessed by Hin­dus­tan Times show the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion had on Novem­ber 20, 2017, sent a re­port to the Haryana gov­ern­ment per­tain­ing to the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the case.

The in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency had si­mul­ta­ne­ously sought sanc­tion from the state gov­ern­ment to pros­e­cute Dhillon. On the ba­sis of the facts stated in the CBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port, the state gov­ern­ment sought com­ments from the in­dus­tries, town and coun­try plan­ning and home de­part­ments. In its con­clu­sion, the state gov­ern­ment wrote that the CBI has not been able to con­clu­sively bring out the ad­verse role of the of­fi­cer in any de­ci­sion re­gard­ing the ac­qui­si­tion process un­der­taken by the in­dus­tries depart­ment. The al­le­ga­tions against the of­fi­cer have not been proved be­yond doubt, the gov­ern­ment said.

“The com­pe­tent author­ity may con­sider de­clin­ing the pro­posed sanc­tion for prose­cu­tion of the of­fi­cer and com­ments of the state gov­ern­ment may be fur­nished to the depart­ment of per­son­nel and train­ing with a copy to the CBI,’’ wrote a deputy sec­re­tary-level of­fi­cial on De­cem­ber 23, 2017.

Chief sec­re­tary DS Dhesi also en­dorsed the De­cem­ber 23 not­ing and sub­mit­ted it for the con­sid­er­a­tion of the CM on De­cem­ber 25. How­ever, the mat­ter was de­layed and the chief sec­re­tary’s of­fice was asked to col­late the con­clu­sions drawn by the three de­part­ments.

Dhillon re­tired from ser­vice on De­cem­ber 31 and the gov­ern­ment was saved from the em­bar­rass­ment of con­vey­ing their re­fusal for the pro­posed sanc­tion to pros­e­cute him.

The state gov­ern­ment on Fe­bru­ary 2, 2018, closed the mat­ter stat­ing that as per the in­struc­tions of DoPT, Union Min­istry of Per­son­nel, sanc­tion to pros­e­cute is not re­quired for re­tired of­fi­cers un­der pro­vi­sions of Pre­ven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act. Chief Sec­re­tary DS Dhesi did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

GOVT STAND ON THEN TOWN AND COUN­TRY DI­REC­TOR COULD WEAKEN CBI’S CASE IN COURT

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