Retired High Court judge SN Dhingra, facing allegations of seeking out-of-turn favours towards a Gurugram-based charitable trust headed by him, has refuted the charges against him. He has contended that he doesn't consider seeking construction of roads for villages as accepting bribes.
Former Haryana CM BS Hooda had alleged that Justice (Retd) Dhingra made a request to the deputy commissioner, Gurugram, to construct a paver-block road in place of a kachcha road leading to a school for underprivileged children.
Justice (Retd) Dhingra is heading a commission to probe into grant of land licences to some companies, including that of Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra in Gurugram
Speaking to DNA, the retired justice said that he did not involve himself in any public cause for publicity, and that he did not liken seeking construction of roads for villages to 'accepting a bribe.'
He has claimed that he or any of the trustees do not hold any land in the villages where the road was to be constructed, and that the trust does not pay him.
"I am merely someone who works to make it more effective for helping the underprivileged," the retired judge was reported to have said.
However, according to a Firstpost report, Justice (Retd) Dhingra did indeed make a request to the deputy Commissioner, Gurugram, to construct a paver-block road. According to Shalini Singh, there is no illegality or impropriety in the request as it is the government’s mandate to build roads and launch welfare schemes and developmental projects and no rules were bent in this case. While Rs 95,40,000 was sanctioned for the construction of the road, Rs 47,70,000 has been sanctioned so far.
Further, according to the article, Justice Dhingra is not the beneficiary of the money released by the state government to build the road.
Also, the charitable trust claimed in a media release that it is not a recipient of any government aid.
Even as the Enforcement Directorate on Friday issued a fresh notice to a firm linked to Robert Vadra in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in a land deal in Rajasthan's Bikaner district, neither Vadra nor the wistleblower Ashok Khema have not been summoned.
Justice (Retd) Dhingra said it is unnecessary, according to him, to call every one for examination. "I called the officials who were required. I don't call people to see their face," he was quoted as saying by DNA.
The retired Delhi High Court judge has sought extension of the deadline by six more weeks to submit the report, as new documents on Vadra's benami transactions have emerged.
The Robert Vadra land deal case has been at the centre of political mudslinging ever since the Narendra Modi government came to power. After the BJP swept to power in Haryana, where Vadra's alleged shady dealings took place, a probe commission headed by Justice (Retd) SN Dhingra was constituted in 2015.