Himachal IAS officer arrested in disproportionate assets case

October 8th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyShimla, Oct 8 (IANS) A senior IAS officer was arrested Wednesday from Haryana, in connection with a disproportionate assets case, the police said. The Himachal Pradesh vigilance bureau had grilled Subhash Ahluwalia, along with his wife, Meera, a number of times since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in January this year about his sources of income. Ahluwalia had been the private secretary to former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

“The bureau arrested Ahluwalia from his residence in Panchkula town in Haryana this afternoon (Wednesday). He (Ahluwalia) will be produced in a Shimla court Thursday,” I.D. Bhandari, additional director-general of police (vigilance) told IANS.

“Ahluwalia had failed to satisfy us (the bureau) regarding his bank accounts totalling Rs.10 million, his orchards in Shimla district and flats at Panchkula, Kansal near Chandigarh and Gurgaon,” Bhandari said.

The bureau had also asked details from Ahluwalia about any foreign remittances received by him from his children, who are working in the US.

Sources in the bureau said during the recent raids at Ahluwalia’s residence, a lot of documents, including several fixed deposit receipts, bank papers and shares were found. A laptop and desktop computer were also seized.

The bureau has laid its hands on 18 bank accounts in Ahluwalia’s name.

Meera Ahluwalia, who was the principal of a leading girls’ college in Shimla, was also accused of availing foreign jaunts at the expense of private companies while holding a government job.

But Bhandari said: “So far no case has been registered against Meera”.

However, the bureau has recommended to the state government that there should be an inquiry about her foreign travels to various countries, including the US and Thailand.

During the previous government, Ahluwalia remained private secretary to the chief minister for over four years.

He is the third person who was occupying influential position in the previous government to be grilled by the vigilance bureau.

Earlier, former horticulture minister Singhi Ram and former chairman of the state school education board B.R. Rahi were booked by the vigilance bureau in a forged mark sheet case involving Singhi’s daughter.

Reacting to Ahluwalia’s arrest, Virbhadra Singh said: “His arrest has proved that the government is hell-bent on settling personal vendetta”. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumla said: “Corruption would not be tolerated at any level”.

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