This was the first time Bhupinder Hooda was questioned by the CBI in the Panchkula land scam.
Former Haryana Chief Minister, Congress's Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was questioned today by the Central Bureau of Investigation regarding the alleged irregularities in the allotment of 14 industrial plots in Panchkula. It is alleged that the allocations - which passed through the then Chief Minister's office - were made to relatives of politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people. Even Mr Hooda's relatives are among the allottees, it has been alleged.
This was the first time that the agency questioned Mr Hooda, who was the de facto chairman of Haryana Urban Development Authority or HUDA at the time. The case, lodged last year, names him, an IAS officer and two other HUDA officials.
The FIR also alleged that beneficiaries were given the plots -- ranging from 496 sq m to 1,280 sq m -- at throwaway prices, which caused a loss of several crores to the state exchequer. The First Information report in the case said changes were made in the eligibility criteria to include the beneficiaries who were ineligible.
Besides, the allottees had submitted their applications late - while the last date was January 6, 2012, their applications were submitted on January 24, 2012, the First Information Report said. It alleged that rules were bended to allow for the delayed submission.
In December 2015, the BJP government of Manohar Lal Khattar ordered the state Vigilance Bureau to register a case and refer the matter to the CBI. Mr Hooda termed it "vendetta" politics and alleged that the cases were "diversionary tactics" adopted by BJP-led government of the state.
Those allotted the industrial plots included Renu Hooda, Manjot Kaur, Nandita Hooda, Mona Beri, Pardeep Kumar, KPS Sandhu, Dagar Katyal, Ganesh Dutt Ratan, Aman Gupta, Lt Col (retd) O P Dahiya, Sidharth Bhardwaj, Ashok Verma, Anupam Sood and Sachin Sood.