Chandigarh: With an impression being created that his government had committed irregularities in granting licences for prime commercial properties in Gurgaon during his tenure, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has hit out at the one-man Justice S.N. Dhingra Commission and the state’s BJP government for carrying out a “witch-hunt” in which they have found nothing.
“I demand that the report of the Dhingra Commission be made public immediately. I will react to its contents and take the matter to court,” Hooda told IANS in an interview here on Thursday.
“Khoda pahaar, nikli chuhiya (they dug up a mountain only to find a mouse). Even if there is irregularity, as is being alleged, that does not mean that it is an illegality,” and upbeat Hooda said.
Hooda also trashed the Haryana government’s move to get only a handful of licences probed, including one granted to the firm owned by Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.
The Justice S.N. Dhingra Commission of Inquiry set up by the Manohar Lal Khattar government last May to probe the controversial grant of licences for prime commercial properties in Gurgaon had submitted its 182-page report on Wednesday.
“In its own order, after summoning me (in March), the commission said that documents were not provided to me as there was no specific complaint against me. Under the Court of Inquiry Act, 1952, if there is a charge against any individual, he has to be provided the relevant documents and the opportunity to cross examine people. Nothing was done in my case by the commission,” Hooda pointed out.
The report has pointed out irregularities in grant of licences and allotment of land to individuals and companies, including Vadra and his companies, in prime areas of Gurgaon city, adjoining national capital New Delhi.
The report, it is reliably learnt, has indicted Hooda’s previous Congress government (2005-2014) for irregularities in grant of licences.
“I wouldn’t have submitted a 182-page report if there was no irregularity,” Dhingra, a retired judge of the Delhi High Court, who submitted the report to Khattar here, had told the media on Wednesday.
The commission had been mandated to probe licences given by the Hooda government for the development of colonies, housing societies and commercial complexes in four villages — Shikohpur, Sihi, Kherki Daula and Sikanderpur Bada — in Gurgaon district.
Vadra has termed the inquiry commission a “political witch-hunt” against him.
“Out of the licences granted for over 33,697 acres of land, one-third of these being in Gurgaon, the BJP government deliberately chose to get the probe by the commission done only for 63 acres. Only 16 licences were granted in this area,” Hooda pointed out.
“Vadra’s land measured only 3.53 acres and he was issued a licence for only 2.7 acres as per entitlement. He paid Rs 24.11 crore as land cost, government charges, additional tax and renewal of licence. After five years, he sold it to DLF for Rs 58 crore. That is the normal escalation in cost in five years in an area like Gurgaon,” Hooda said.
Alleging political vendetta, Hooda said that the BJP government, which came to power in October 2014, had granted licences in 14 cases, out of which 11 were in Gurgaon itself.
“These licences have also been granted under the same policy (as in Hooda’s tenure). The Khattar government has made FSI (floor space index) a trade-able commodity under which licences can be sold directly,” Hooda contended.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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