Vadra deal prober says he has named each one guilty of 'irregularities'
NEW DELHI: The one-man Justice SN Dhingra Commission, set up by the Haryana government in May last year to probe the controversial land deals in the State, including those involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, indicated on Wednesday that irregularities were indeed committed in allotting land to Vadra’s firms in Haryana.
Speaking to reporters after submitting his report to the State government, Justice Dhingra said, “I have brought the irregularities to light and the people behind it.” He further said that if there were no irregularities, he would have submitted a one-sentence, not a 182-page report. Stung to the quick, the Congress immediately swung into action, terming the probe unfair.
Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala demanded that the State government make the findings of the Dhingra Commission public. “The sole intent of this probe was to defame, conspire and malign rather than examine the facts fairly,” Surjewala alleged and added, “even before the submission of report, portions of it were leaked to the media.” Vadra’s lawyer Suman Khaitan said holding anything against him or his company without giving them a chance to be heard was against natural justice.
The Justice S N Dhingra Commission has found “irregularities” in land deals in Haryana that Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra had entered into during the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government's tenure.
“Had there been no irregularities, I would have finished the entire report in just one sentence,” Dhingra said after submitting a 182-page report to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
He refused to divulge further details, saying it was up to the government to make the public or not as the report was its property. However, Dhingra said he had in his report named each and every person responsible for the irregularities and now it was up to the government against whom to proceed. “I have mentioned the irregularities found, the manner in which they were committed and the persons responsible,” he said.
The commission has reportedly examined more than 200 cases of grant of Change of Land Use licences and summoned 20-odd officials. “The report has two parts. The first part contains the findings and the second contains evidence. Also I have submitted an annexure on the documents brought to my notice on June 30 just before the report was to be submitted. And I have recommended further investigation into it,” Justice Dhingra said.
It also inquired whether the transfer of licences by the original licencee within a short period of time was in violation of law and caused loss of revenue to the government. Vadra has been accused of transferring his licences to DLF, violating laws and causing a huge loss of revenue.
Dhingra said that he did not consider it necessary to summon Ashok Khemka, the bureaucrat who had cancelled the mutation of Vadra’s land deal in Gurgaon.
Bhupinder Hooda was also summoned by the commission in March this year, but he did not turn up and was instead represented by a battery of lawyers.
The report led to a war of words between two political parties. While Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who was a minister in the Hooda government, demanded that the government should make the findings public, the BJP rejected the Congress’ charge that it was running a campaign of slander and vilification against Sonia’s son-in-law.
Vadra’s lawyer Suman Khaitan said holding anything against him or his company without giving them a chance to be heard went against the principles of natural justice. “If the government feels that my client is a bad man and they have a jawai babu report, why are they hiding the report. Let the report come out,” he said. Khaitan claimed his client's company made all payments totally legally and never sought any favours from any government department whatsoever”.
“It is not a Vadra report. All transactions are recorded. We have paid `8 crore in capital gains. We have paid full stamp duty. Let's wait for the report, don't condemn me like that. Wait for the report and we will answer," he said.