CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has recommended a CBI probe against his predecessor Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former IAS officer D P S Nagal and two Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials over the alleged irregularities in the allotment of industrial plots in Panchkula during Hooda’s tenure.
An initial inquiry by the Haryana Vigilance Bureau found that the former Chief Minister had allotted plots to his relatives, close associates and friends in 2011-12.
“After the vigilance inquiry found irregularities in the allotment of plots, the Chief Minister has recommended a CBI probe for a further inquiry. The Chief Minister has ordered the vigilance department to register a case. After that the matter will be referred to the CBI. This has been done after obtaining the legal opinion of Advocate-General Baldev Raj Mahajan,” said Jawahar Yadav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister. As per the legal opinion, an FIR deserves to be registered against the then HUDA chairman and some other officials, including the then chief administrator. Hooda was the Chairman and Nagal the Chief Administrator. Then Chief Finance Officer S C Kansal and another official, B B Taneja, are also facing the probe. The Advocate-General had maintained that the allotment criteria were changed and approved at the level of the HUDA chief, the then Chief Minister, and that most of the beneficiaries got the plots under modified the criteria.
The Advocate-General further found it to be a fit case where the state government should consider getting the detailed probe conducted by an independent agency like the CBI.Hooda wasn’t available for comment.
In May, the BJP government ordered a Vigilance inquiry into the allotment of 14 industrial plots ranging from 496 square metres to 1,280 square metres at the industrial estate in Panchkula in December 2011 to the alleged undeserving candidates at throwaway prices.
The alleged beneficiaries were Renu Hooda, wife of the former Chief Minister’s nephew Rajinder Hooda; Nandita Hooda, wife of former Senior Additional Advocate-General Narender Hooda; Pradeep Kumar, son of Hooda’s former secretary Singh Ram; Mona Beri, daughter-in-law of former OSD B R Beri and Aman Gupta, son of former Thanesar MLA Ramesh Gupta, among others.