CBI FIR against Haryana ex-CM, others in plots allotment case

New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The CBI on Saturday filed a case against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others regarding the allotment of 14 industrial plots during the previous Congress rule in the state.

Those named along with Hooda in the FIR include D.P.S. Nagal (retired IAS), the then Haryana Development Authority (HUDA) chief administrator; S.C. Kansal, chief financial controller and B.B. Taneja, deputy superintendent.

Hours after filing the case, CBI teams raided different places in Delhi, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Rohtak.

The beneficiaries booked in the case are Renu Hooda, widow of the chief minister’s nephew; Pardeep Kumar, Mona Beri, Nandita Hooda, Manjot Kaur, Ganesh Dutt Ratan, Aman Gupta, Lt. Col. O.P. Dahiya (retd), Dagar Katyal, Siddharth Bharadwaj, Kanwar Preet Singh Sandhu, Raman Kansal and Ashok Verma.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the case in January, a month after a recommendation by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to the Centre, said that 14 industrial plots in Panchkula were illegally allotted to private persons, mostly relatives of Hooda and HUDA officials, thereby causing a loss to the exchequer.

The agency has taken into custody the record of an inquiry earlier conducted by the Haryana State Vigilance Bureau.

The registration of the first FIR by the bureau was an offshoot of legal opinion by Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan.

Hooda, as the chairman of HUDA, allegedly benefited his relatives and known persons by allotting them plots in Panchkula near here.

The allotments were made by HUDA in July 2013 and approved by Hooda as its chairman on the recommendation of a standing committee.

The prices of plots given to Hooda’s kin were alleged to be much lower than the market rate and HUDA didn’t constitute the mandatory committee to decide the beneficiaries.

“The plots are located in Industrial Area, Phase-1, of Panchkula and are in two sizes: 1,000 square metres costing Rs.64 lakh and 496 square metres at Rs.31.74 lakh. The market price of a 1,000 square metre plot in the area is around Rs.6 crore,” said an official.

The then chief minister, however, had defended the allotments and denied favouritism.

The CBI booked the accused under Sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 204 (destruction of evidence), 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

–IANS

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