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Robert Vadra in trouble: Justice Dhingra indicates irregularities in Haryana land deals

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CHANDIGARH: Robert Vadra is all set to hog limelight once again. A judicial inquiry report headed by Justice S N Dhingra has been presented to the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. There are reasons to believe that the report claims that there were irregularities in Robert Vadra’s land deals in the state.

While the controversies have shadowed Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law for the last several years, the latest inquiry report is going to play into the hands of the BJP government before the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assembly elections due early next year.

The massive 182-page report that Justice S N Dhingra, a former judge of Delhi High Court presented probes the controversial land deals involving Robert Vadra during the reign of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Some fifteen months ago, Justice Dhingra was appointed to probe land deals in Gurgaon during the tenure of the then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.robert-vadra

Nonetheless things are still not very clear in this regard. While refusing to give details of the contents of the report, Justice Dhingra indicated that he clearly found irregularities in the grant of land licenses in the area. The land deals became a major issue in 2014 during the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly polls in Haryana. Asked by newsmen whether the commission found any irregularity, Justice Dhingra said, “Had there been no irregularity I would have given one sentence report mentioning there is no irregularity. My report has 182 pages. Without it (irregularity), I did not have any reason to write 182 pages.”

When asked about the companies involved in the irregularities, he said, “I do not know about which particular company you (media) are talking. My mandate was to inquire about irregularity in grant of licenses.” The Khattar government had on May 14, 2015 set up the one-man Commission to probe issues concerning the grant of license(s) for developing commercial colonies by the Department of Town and Country Planning to some entities in Sector 83, Gurgaon including mutation of land deal between a firm M/S Skylight Hospitality owned by Robert Vadra and realty major DLF. Justice Dhingra said that it is for the government to act on the report, including making it public after laying it in the state assembly.

When pressed by the media further, the former Delhi High Court chief justice said, “I cannot disclose the contents of the report. It is the property of the state government which is to decide the timing of making public the report…I have probed irregularity in grant of licenses and the manner in which these irregularities were committed and the persons who were benefitted from it…Rest, indictment, is for the state to proceed against whatever it considers against whom it is to proceed and against whom it is not to proceed. That is the state’s prerogative”.

Justice Dhingra went on to add, “I have named each and every person who is responsible whether private or government. Any person who was involved in irregularity has been mentioned (in the report) and role has also been mentioned. Beyond that I would not tell you who were they and what was the role”.

It must be kept in mind that in October, 2012, senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka had cancelled the mutation of the land deal between Skylight Hospitality and DLF on the ground that assistant consolidation officer who had sanctioned the change of title, was not competent to do so. It was also mired by controversy over allegations of undervaluation. BJP had made the land deals under the previous Congress government in Haryana a major poll issue during the 2014 Lok Sabha and the state Assembly polls, alleging rules were relaxed to favour a few including Vadra. Justice Dhingra Commission had examined about 250 files related to the grant of commercial licenses, besides examining several government officials.

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