AJL plot case: Haryana vigilance cell files FIR against ex-CM Hooda, four others

Chandigarh: Haryana State Vigilance Bureau has registered a case of cheating and corruption against former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and four officials who were in HUDA for allegedly realloting a plot to Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in Panchkula in 2005.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. IBNLIVE

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. IBNLIVE

The case under various IPC sections, including criminal breach of trust by a public servant, cheating, criminal
conspiracy and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, was registered against Hooda, the then Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) chairman, an ex-officio post held by him as the chief minister, and four other top officials of Huda then, by the vigilance bureau on 5 May.

The FIR was registered at the bureau's police station in Panchkula, a bureau senior official told reporters on Sunday.

The plot had been initially allotted to AJL in 1982. After the expiry of the lease period in 1996, then Haryana Vikas Party goverment led by Bansi Lal took back its possession. It was reallotted to AJL after the Congress leader came to power in 2005.

The official said that an officer of SP rank would probe the case under the supervision of an officer of IG rank or
above.

The bureau has alleged that the act by the then HUDA chairman and the officials had caused a huge financial loss to
HUDA as the plot should have been sold through open auction instead of being alloted again to AJL.

An FIR had been lodged in December last year by the state vigilance bureau against Hooda as the then chairman and chief administrator of HUDA for alleged irregularities in allotment of industrial plots in Panchkula three years ago.

On the new FIR, Hooda told reporters that no rules had been violated in the allotment.

Hooda hit out at the BJP government in Haryana alleging there was political vendetta.

"This government has unleashed political vendetta," Hooda said.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar countered Hooda, saying there was no question of any political vendetta.

"The present government had zero tolerance towards corruption and wherever any wrongdoing comes to light, it would be probed as per law," Khattar told reporters.

Opposition had earlier this month sought registration of a criminal case in the matter for alleged illegal reallotment of land in Panchkula near here.

In a missive to the Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition Abhay Chautala had said a plot measuring 3,360 square metres in the prime location of Sector 6 in Panchkula was reallotted to the Associated Journals Ltd on 29 June 2005.

"This plot had been allotted to the Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) in 1982, but after the company failed to make use of the land, it (the lease of the land) was resumed in the year 1996," he had said.

However, soon after Congress was voted to power in 2005, Hooda initiated the process of restoring the plot to AJL on a representation made on its behalf by one of the trustees, Chautala had claimed.

"It is evident from media reports that the then Chief Minister was advised by the administration as well as by the
LR (Legal Remembrance) that there was no legal provision for such reallotment and if, however, the provisions or policy allow, then it can only be allotted afresh at the prevalent rates," he said.

Chautala had also stated that keeping in view the facts, a prima facie cognisable criminal offence has been made out against the persons, including Hooda.

PTI


Published Date: May 08, 2016 06:32 pm | Updated Date: May 08, 2016 06:32 pm


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