Friday, December 1, 2023

Retired SC judge to probe Vadra, other land deals in Haryana

Chandigarh, May 13 (IANS) A retired judge of the Supreme Court will probe all irregularities, including the controversial multi-million-rupee land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, a senior minister in Haryana said on Wednesday.

Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma told media here that the commission under the retired Supreme Court judge would inquire into all irregularities committed in the past 10 years of the Congress rule in the state, especially regarding land deals.

The announcement on the probe came just days after the Congress hardened its stand on the Land Acquisition Bill tabled by the Narendra Modi government in parliament and said that it would oppose the bill. The Congress is claiming that the land acquisition bill is not in the interests of farmers.

“All irregularities, including land deals, will be probed. The notification of the commission will be issued on May 15 (Friday),” Sharma said.

The minister said several complaints have been received by the BJP government in the state, which assumed office in October last year, regarding irregularities committed during the Congress rule.

Vadra was accused of accumulating land in the national capital region (NCR) area during the Congress government in Haryana led by then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

In one particular deal in Gurgaon district, adjoining Delhi, Vadra’s company sold off prime land to realty major DLF for Rs.58 crore.

The BJP, in March this year, had targeted the Congress party saying that there was a “massive scam” in land deals in Haryana during the nearly 10-year-long Congress regime under Hooda.

The charge came after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) blamed the Hooda government for showering favours on Vadra, who made millions in the controversial land deals. The CAG had indicated that the Hooda government had obliged Vadra with quick sanction of the permissions required.

Following the CAG report, senior IAS officer of Haryana cadre Ashok Khemka, who had cancelled the land deal between Vadra with DLF, had said that he had been “vindicated” by the CAG report.

The CAG report, tabled in March in the Haryana assembly, had blamed the Hooda government for showing undue favours to Vadra.

Vadra’s company, Skylight Hospitality, sold a prime 3.5 acre of land in Manesar, Gurgaon, to DLF in 2008 for Rs.58 crore. The land had cost his company only around Rs.15 crore and was sold to DLF after obtaining change of land use (CLU) and other permissions from the Hooda government.

Vadra made a clear Rs.43 crore but did not share the profits with Haryana’s town and country planning department. But the Hooda government gave Vadra and his companies a ‘clean chit’.

Vadra had bought land in four districts of Gurgaon, Palwal, Faridabad and Mewat in Haryana, adjoining Delhi.

Alleging that Vadra’s land deals caused loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer, Khemka marked a probe into all land deals of Vadra and his companies since 2005.

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