CHANDIGARH: Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was on Monday questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularities in the allotment of fourteen industrial plots at Panchkula by the Haryana Urban Development Authority.
Sources said Hooda was the chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) during his tenure as chief minister and he allegedly allotted fourteen plots (ranging from 496 square metres to 1,280 square metres) at throwaway prices after changing the eligibility criteria.
The ineligible beneficiaries were allotted plots at rates lesser than the prevailing market rates, causing financial loss to the tune of several crores to the State exchequer.
Among the beneficiaries were Renu Hooda, wife of the former chief minister’s nephew Rajinder Hooda; Manjot Kaur, daughter-in-law of then Punjab and Haryana high court judge justice (retd) MS Sullar, Nandita Hooda, wife of former senior additional advocate general Narender Hooda, Mona Beri, daughter-in-law of BR Beri, former officer on special duty to Hooda and Pardeep Kumar, son of Hooda’s former secretary Singh Ram, KPS Sandhu, Dagar Katyal, Ganesh Dutt Ratan, Aman Gupta, Lt Col OP Dahiya (retd), Sidharth Bhardwaj, Ashok Verma, Anupam Sood and Sachin Sood.
The CBI registered a case against Hooda and 13 other beneficiaries on May 16 last year and raided Chandigarh, Panchkula, Faridabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Rohtak. An official of the apex agency said it is for the first time that Hooda has been questioned since he was booked in this case.
Besides Hooda, others named in the FIR include retired IAS officer DPS Nagal, then chief administrator of HUDA, SC Kansal, then controller of finance and BB Taneja, then deputy superintendent of HUDA.
Hooda has been, however, maintaining that this case against him is a political vendetta by the BJP government.