The Supreme Court on Monday, 19 November, said it had quashed an FIR against BJP MP Anurag Thakur and others in a case related to alleged encroachment of land for the construction of the Dharamshala cricket stadium by "mistake".
A bench of justices A K Sikri and S A Nazeer was told by the counsel appearing for former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who has been arrayed as a respondent in the case filed by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), that the 2 November order of the top court should be recalled first.
WHEN WAS THE FIR QUASHED?
On 2 November, the apex court had quashed two FIRs against Thakur, his father and former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and others in two separate cases — one related to alleged irregularities in granting land on lease for the construction of the Dharamshala cricket stadium and another pertaining to alleged encroachment of government land.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HEARING?
Senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Thakur and others, told the bench that there was no need to recall the order as the main FIR was already quashed by the court.
The counsel representing Singh said the 2 November order should be recalled as the apex court had “by mistake” quashed a separate FIR against Thakur and others in connection with a case related to alleged encroachment of land, where staff quarters of the education department of the state was situated.
He said no argument was advanced by them in the second FIR, which was quashed by the court "by mistake".
He claimed that the allegation in the FIR was that the staff quarters were demolished illegally, but the fact was that the education secretary had granted a no-objection certificate for transfer of land and the same had the approval of the state education minister.
After Patwalia concluded his arguments, Singh's counsel told the bench that the FIR was quashed by the apex court without hearing them.
"You are saying that you cannot argue. If you cannot argue, then do not argue. We will pass the order. We are saying that it was a mistake," the bench told Singh's counsel.
After Singh's counsel sought some time to argue the case, the bench posted the matter for hearing on 29 November.
HOW THAKURS OPPOSED SC IN DHARAMASHALA CRICKET STADIUM CASE
Earlier, Singh, through his counsel D K Thakur, had opposed in the top court the plea seeking quashing of the FIRs lodged in 2013 against Thakur and others in connection with the construction of the Dharamshala cricket stadium.
Thakur, Dhumal and the HPCA had challenged in the apex court the orders of the Himachal Pradesh High Court refusing to quash the FIRs registered against them during the erstwhile Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government in the state.
Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Hamirpur who was then the HPCA president, had earlier claimed in the apex court that the cases were actually related to a civil dispute but the then Singh-led government had made those criminal cases for political reasons, a charge refuted by the Congress leader.