More trouble for Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association

Shimla, Aug 20 (IANS) There was more trouble for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, as the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau found the sports body's initially registered address in Kanpur as "bogus".

During a recent investigation, state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau found that the Kanpur address was bogus. A team led by assistant superintendent of police Jograj Jariyal visited the Kanpur address.

"A vigilance team had visited Kanpur and found that the office associated with the HPCA is fictitious and non-existent," an investigator told IANS, on the condition of anonymity, here Tuesday.

HPCA, who is located in picturesque hill station of Dharmasala, some 250 kilometers from here, was initially registered with the Registrars of Companies, in Kanpur in July 14, 2005. It was later shifted to a Chandigarh address in 2011.

Top sources in the vigilance bureau told IANS that they will also investigate the Chandigarh address.

"HPCA has now got the company registered in Chandigarh. This address will also be investigated," the official said.

Investigations against the HPCA started after Congress came to power in the state government last year in December.

Earlier this month, a cheating and misappropriation case was registered against the HPCA over alleged wrong-doings in allotment of land to the state's sports body.

The disputed land, some three km away from the stadium has been used by the HPCA to build a five-star residential complex called The Pavilion, which has 38 rooms, 32 huts and a high-tech gym. The HPCA website calls it the "exotic residential resort".

The land was allotted when the BJP government, headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, was in power in the state. Thakur, who is also Dhumal's son, had alleged that the case against HPCA is politically motivated. Thakur is also a joint secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Thakur had justified the move to change the HPCA's entity from a society to a non-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956.

"It was dome only to save HPCA from the control of the state government, like most other cricket associations had done all over the country," Thakur had said.

"We have registered as a company on no-profit, no-loss basis under section 25 of the Companies Act for promoting cricket activities. This was done with the permission of the BCCI," Thakur said.

But sources told IANS that HPCA has sub-leased the residential complex of its state-of-the-start stadium to a company for commercial use.

On July 26, two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers -- Deepak Sanan and R.S. Gupta -- were charge-sheeted by the state government for allegedly allowing the change in the land-use for building the HPCA complex.

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