The CBI on Monday registered a case in connection with the allegedly illegal construction of the Ambience shopping mall in Haryana's Gurgaon on land that had originally been allotted for a housing project. The agency also conducted raids on premises of the accused, including Directors of the Ambience Group, at four locations in Delhi and Haryana.
The case was registered almost exactly a month after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the CBI to probe the allegedly illegal building of the shopping mall adjacent to the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway.
The CBI had been asked to register an FIR (first information report) within six weeks from July 10, submit a status report - in a sealed cover within three months and complete investigations within six months.
The High Court's order was passed after a PIL (public interest litigation) alleging that of the 18.98 acres allotted for a group housing project in Gurgaon's Nathurpur village, only 7.9 acres were used for residential complexes.
The rest, the PIL alleged, had been used for the construction of the Ambiance Mall and other commercial buildings, in a blatant violation of rules that took place with the help of government officials.
The builder, who had also promised buyers in the residential complex with reservation of around 80 per cent for open and community services, had earlier moved an application for delicensing eight of the 18.98 acres and seeking further permission to erect a commercial complex.
On hearing the case the High Court directed quashing of orders allocating the land for commercial projects and asked the state government to "take necessary consequential steps forthwith."
The court also said there was the possibility of the builder acting in collusion with the relevant authorities.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court's order was passed by a division bench of the High Court, consisting of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh.