Haryana governor Satyadev Narayan Arya on Thursday gave sanction to prosecute former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) case, according to reports.
This development comes a year after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that Hooda allegedly misused his official position and illegally re-allotted a plot in 2005 to the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in Panchkula.
The ED's response came on a petition filed by Congress leader and chairman of AJL, Motilal Vora, who sought quashing of the enforcement case investigation report (ECIR) registered by the ED.
The ED told the court in an affidavit that Hooda allegedly misused his official position to re-allot the plot to the petitioner.
The ED told the court that investigations have revealed that when Hooda became chief minister in 2005, he allegedly re-allotted the plot in gross violation of the existing policy and legal position.
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Financial Commissioner of the Town and Country Planning Department (FCTCP) had advised against re-allotment of the plot in Panchkula to AJL, but Hooda "in order to show favour to the petitioner" bypassed recommendations of both government departments, the ED submitted before the court. AJL is the publisher of the National Herald newspaper.
The ECIR registered on 15 July, 2016 by the Chandigarh office of the ED was based on a 5 May, 2016 FIR of the Haryana Vigilance Bureau regarding allegations of cheating and corruption against Hooda and others.
The plot had been initially allotted to AJL in 1982. After the expiry of the lease period in 1996, the Haryana Vikas Party government led by Bansi Lal took back its possession. It was reallotted to AJL after the Congress came to power in 2005, with Hooda as chief minister.
Hooda on April 2017 had claimed that he was a victim of "political vendetta" and maintained that he had done no wrong, after the CBI registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating against him.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Nov 15, 2018 15:20:53 IST