Money laundering: ED attaches Rs 30 crore plots of ex-Haryana CM Hooda's close aides

The federal agency issued a provisional order for attachment for a total of 14 plots allocated in Panchkula under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Published: 30th August 2019 01:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2019 01:39 AM   |  A+A-

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said it has attached over a dozen industrial plots, allocated to "close" associates of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and valued at Rs 30.34 crore, in connection with a money laundering case.

The federal agency issued a provisional order for attachment for a total of 14 plots allocated in Panchkula under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It had also questioned and recorded the statement of the senior Congress leader in Chandigarh sometime back.

"These industrial plots were fraudulently allocated to the persons closely connected to the then CM of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was the ex-officio chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority.....Since these fraudulently acquired plots are proceeds of crime they have been provisionally attached under PMLA," the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.

It said the probe revealed that the plots were available with HUDA for allotment in 2011.

"The price fixed for the subject allotment were kept very low vis-a-vis market rate. The then prevalent collector rate was around 4-5 times the price fixed for allotment," it said.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Haryana government to evolve fair and transparent criteria for such allocations, it said.

"The criteria for allotment were altered 18 days after the last date of application was over and all the applicant data was in possession of HUDA.

Marks for certain criteria were altered to favour the pre-selected applicants by increasing the discretion at the hands of the interview committee," the ED alleged.

The marks for certain criteria were reduced and for others the criteria points were given zero marks thereby effectively removing the criteria, it said.

"The entire interview process was vitiated and compromised as no formal record of marks allocation was kept.

It has been found that the plots were allocated to persons closely connected to Hooda in terms of his personal capacity and also in terms of the political party he belongs to," it added.

The agency said further probe in the case is ongoing.

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