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Innocent

HC dismisses petition against IAS officer’s wife

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Shimla, Jan 1, 2020-

The high court here on Monday dismissed a petition challenging the order of appointment of Meera Walia, wife of Subhash Ahluwalia, former Principal Private Secretary to ex-Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, as a member of the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (HPPSC).

While disposing of the petition of Hem Raj, a law student, a division bench comprising Chief Justice L. Narayana Swamy and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua said the appointment was made by adopting and following the due procedure as mandated by the Constitution and the respondent had been discharged by a Special Judge in allegations of corruption.

The court said the petitioner approached the court not with clean hands, but it refrained itself from imposing cost on him for filing such a petition despite being a law student.

The judges hoped the state must step in and take urgent steps to frame memorandum of procedure, administrative guidelines and parameters for the selection and appointment of the chairperson and members of HPPSC so that the possibility of arbitrary appointment is eliminated.

The petitioner had challenged Walia’s appointment on the ground that a first information report (FIR) was lodged against her in the state Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2008.

Official sources told IANS that Ahluwalia has been accused of misusing state funds to acquire assets during his previous tenure as Principal Private Secretary to Virbhadra Singh from 2003-07.

He has been asked for details about foreign remittances received by him from his children who are working in the US.

Ahluwalia was re-appointed as Principal Private Secretary in 2013.  (Agency)

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