Dharamshala Stadium Case: SC quashes FIR lodged against BJP MP Anurag Thakur

Congress govt had filed a case alleging illegality in land allocation for Dharamshala stadium

The Supreme Court has quashed the FIR lodged against BJP MP Anurag Thakur, former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and others in connection with alleged irregularities in granting land to build a cricket stadium in Dharamshala.

A bench of Justice A. K. Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Ajay Rastogi approved the appeal of Anurag Thakur, Dhumal and Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association challenging the Himachal Pradesh High Court order of April 25, 2014, refusing to quash the FIR lodged against them and stay the criminal trial pending before the special judge, Dharamshala. The case was registered for cheating and criminal conspiracy, and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, during the reign of the then Virbhadra Singh government of Congress party in the state. “We approve the appeal. The FIR lodged is cancelled”, the court said.

In a previous hearing, Virbhadra Singh had contended before the court that in the year 2002, the Dhumal government had leased 16 acres of land at the rate of Rs 1 per year to Thakur for 99 years. He clarified that it was not a political matter but that of irregularities and the police had taken action on it. He requested the court that the appeal of Thakur should be rejected and the stay on the trial against all the accused should be lifted.

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The former Himachal government had registered a total of 7 cases in this matter out which 2 were quashed by the High Court. The lawyer representing the Himachal government had told the court that the government has decided to withdraw all politically motivated cases. The court had asked the government whether the case of Thakur was one such case. And If yes, then how. The court also had asked whether the case could be withdrawn. To this, the counsel of the Himachal government said that he would come with instructions from the government.

The court had asked Thakur whether he wanted to argue the matter or the court should permit the state government to withdraw the case from the lower court. Thakur had chosen to argue the matter before the court, after which the court fixed a final hearing in the matter.

The FIR in the case was registered by the Dharamsala office of the Vigilance Bureau on August 1, 2013, months after the Congress government assumed power in December 2012.

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