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06:10 AM | Fri, 28 Oct 2016

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Land deals probe report likely before June: Haryana CM

260 Days ago


Chennai: The one-man commission inquiring into controversial land deals in Haryana, including those of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, is likely to submit its report before June, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said here on Wednesday.

"The inquiry commission is looking into the matter. The commission is supposed to give its report in June. It seems the commission will give its report before June," Khattar told IANS here.

Khattar said it was wrong to say that his government was going slow on the matter.

"Neither is the government going slow in the matter nor indulging in vendetta," Khattar, visiting the city for an investment roadshow on Wednesday, said.

Vadra had termed the inquiry commission a "political witch-hunt and vendetta" launched against him by the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana.

The Haryana government in May last year appointed Delhi High Court's Justice S.N. Dhingra (retd) to head the one-man commission to probe the grant of licences to Vadra's company and other firms for developing commercial properties in Gurgaon's Sector 83 and some other prime areas.

The commission is mandated to probe their subsequent transfer or disposal, allegations of private enrichment, ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules and other connected matters.

"Issues concerning public importance related to the grant of licences and alleged illegalities have come to the notice of the state government," a Haryana government spokesman said earlier.

The scope of the Dhingra Commission inquiry was expanded in August last year and it was asked to probe the grant of all licences to colonisers and individuals in four villages of Gurgaon by the previous Congress government in Haryana led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Vadra and others were allegedly granted favours by the then Congress government in securing licences to develop commercial properties in Gurgaon's Sector 83.

The Comptroller and Auditor General had pointed out that Vadra's firm - Skylight Hospitality - had not submitted documents on financial adequacy. Despite that, the firm was granted a licence.

The commission was asked to submit its report to the state government as soon as possible, but not later than six months from the date of its first sitting. However, the commission work began after a delay.

The commission is probing the circumstances under which licences were granted; whether the entities were eligible for grant of licences as per the applicable laws and rules; whether the transfer of licences by the original licences within a short period of time to other entities was violative of laws and rules; and whether the TCPD (Town and Country Planning Department) had contemplated the transactions with reference to the loss of revenue to the government.

The probe panel will recommend "measures to take corrective action to prevent loss of revenue to the public exchequer and also prevention of undue private enrichment at the cost of public exchequer in such cases in the future".

The role of officers in the grant of licences is also being looked into. Complaints against the grant of licences and the CAG report findings form the basis of the inquiry.

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