The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday suspended a Shimla court order summoning BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal in a case of alleged misuse of position when he was the chief minister in 2007.Justice Rajiv Sharma passed the order on a petition filed by Dhumal. The court directed the state government to file its reply within two weeks.Besides Dhumal, the special judge asked then chief secretary Ravi Dhingra, then home secretary P.C. Kapoor and former Indian Police Service officer A.N. Sharma to remain present in the court on May 30, the next date of hearing.The state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau filed a charge sheet against them on March 13. They were booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.In 2007, Sharma applied for voluntary retirement from the police service to contest the assembly election on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket. But he did not get the ticket.At that time, the Congress, led by Virbhadra Singh, was in power in the state.
In the 2007 assembly elections, the BJP returned to power. The BJP allowed Sharma to withdraw his resignation to rejoin the service. The BJP government, led by Dhumal, also promoted Sharma to the rank of inspector general of police.Challenging the summons from the special judge, Dhumal said the prosecuting agency and the state home department misled the trial court by not taking cognizance of the governor's orders of March 21. On January 21, 2015, the then governor Urmila Singh expressed opinion that sanction under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was not required. for prosecution of the former chief minister. But on March 21, 2015, Governor Kalyan Singh, reviewing the case and the January 21 order, declined sanction for Dhumal's prosecution.Urmila Singh retired as governor in January this year.The BJP leader and two-time chief minister said the prosecution has suppressed the March 21 orders of the governor from the court and no cognizance can be taken for any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant during discharge of official duty without any malafide.The high court, meanwhile, summoned the entire records of the case and posted the matter for next hearing on June 15.