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Himachal bureaucrat to be quizzed for suspected graft

National, Thu, 09 Oct 2008 IANS

Shimla, Oct 9 (IANS) A senior bureaucrat of Himachal Pradesh was sent to five-day police custody by a court here Thursday, a day after his arrest from Haryana for allegedly acquiring assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.


The Himachal Pradesh Vigilance Bureau produced Subhash Ahluwalia, principal secretary to former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, in the court of senior magistrate J.L. Gupta in the evening on charges of corruption and sought his custody.



The magistrate after hearing the prosecution counsel allowed the police to interrogate him for five days.



Ahluwalia, a 1989 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and his wife Meera were grilled a number of times by the Vigilance Bureau about his sources of income since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in January this year.



However, his arrest is being seen in political circles as the BJP government's move to tighten the noose on the close aides of the former chief minister.



Confirming his police remand, I.D. Bhandari, additional director-general of police (vigilance), told IANS that 'his (Ahluwalia) interrogation is necessary to know more about his sources of his income'.



'Ahluwalia had failed to satisfy us regarding his bank accounts totalling Rs.10 million, his orchards in Shimla district and flats at Panchkula, Kansal near Chandigarh and Gurgaon,' he said.



Ahluwalia is being accused of misusing state funds to acquire assets - moveable and immovable - during his tenure as principal secretary to Virbhadra Singh.



The bureau has laid its hands on 18 bank accounts in Ahluwalia's name, according to sources.



Meera, 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.


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