Gurugram land deals: Robert Vadra, BS Hooda booked for 'cheating'; ex-Haryana CM terms it 'political vendetta'

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda were on Saturday booked by Haryana Police for alleged irregularities in land deals in Gurugram.

An FIR against Vadra, Hooda and two companies – DLF and Onkareshwar Properties – has been registered at Kherki Daula police station in Gurugram, Manesar Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh Kumar told PTI.

 Gurugram land deals: Robert Vadra, BS Hooda booked for cheating; ex-Haryana CM terms it political vendetta

File image of Robert Vadra. Getty images

"We received a complaint on Saturday from one Surinder Sharma, resident of Nuh, in which he alleged irregularities in the land deals," he said.

Gurugram Commissioner of Police KK Rao confirmed the FIR to The Indian Express and said, "further investigations are on." Kumar was quoted in the report as saying, "We have begun investigations. If need be, all those named as accused would be questioned on their role, as alleged by the complainant."

In February, Hooda and 33 others were chargesheeted by the CBI in another case of alleged corruption. That chargesheet was related to land deals in Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula villages of Gurugram, alleging a scam totaling Rs 1,500 crore.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made the land deals a major poll issue in 2014, alleging that Vadra benefited through questionable land use permissions granted by the earlier Congress government in the state.

The new FIR said that Vadra's company Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd purchased 3.5 acres of land in Gurugram's Sector 83 from Onkareshwar Properties for Rs 7.50 crore in 2008, when Hooda was the chief minister and also held the portfolio of the Town and Country Planning Department.

Later, Skylight Hospitality sold this land to realty major DLF at a price of Rs 58 crore, after procuring a commercial licence for the development of the colony with the influence of Hooda, Sharma alleged. The company thus made a profit of about Rs 50 crore, according to the allegation which has been trashed in the past by Vadra.

In return, the state government allotted 350 acres of land to DLF at Wazirabad in Gurugram in violation of rules, Sharma claimed. In the alleged quid pro quo, the realty major made Rs 5,000 crore.

The Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government had on 14 May, 2015, set up a one-man commission to probe the grant of licences by the Department of Town and Country Planning for developing housing and commercial colonies in Gurugram's Sector 83. This included the alleged deals between Skylight Hospitality and DLF.

The Justice SN Dhingra Commission, formed under the Commission of Inquiry Act, had examined the licences given by the then Hooda government for developing real estate in four Gurugram villages of Sihi, Shikohpur, Kherki Daula and Sikanderpur Bada.

Vadra and Hooda have now been booked under sections 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC, and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The complainant said the payment to Onkareshwar Properties was through a cheque, which was mentioned in registered deed. Onkareshwar Properties never deposited the cheque, the complainant alleged. It indicated that it was a shell company, Sharma claimed in the FIR.

Hooda, however, termed the new FIR as "political vendetta" on Saturday. According to The Times of India, Hooda said, "These are all tactics by the BJP government to divert the attention of the people from its failures."

The Indian Express reported Hooda as saying, "No wrongdoing took place during my tenure. This is is a failed government, they are getting these things done to hide their failures. It is a complaint orchestrated by the BJP."

Meanwhile, Vadra underplayed the FIR saying there's nothing new in the case. "It's election season, there has been an increase in oil prices so the government thought, let us divert the real issues that affect people with Robert Vadra's decade old issue. What's new in this?" he was quoted as saying by News18.

BJP leader Jawahar Yadav said, "This is not a personal fight. This is our collective fight against corruption. The BJP government in state and at the Centre does not tolerate corruption at any cost."

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 02, 2018 09:44:48 IST