Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda was questioned by the CBI over the Haryana land allotment scam
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday questioned former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in connection with a land allotment scam in the state. Mr Hooda was examined by the agency regarding alleged irregularities in the allotment of 14 industrial plots by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).
"Yes he is being examined," CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said, when asked about the development.
The former Chief Minister of the north-Indian state was the de facto chairman of HUDA. The agency examined him for the first time since it registered the case against him, an IAS officer and two other HUDA officials last year.
The agency had recently also examined UPSC member and the then Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Chattar Singh in connection with case. It is alleged that the orders for the allotment were issued from the Chief Minister's office.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had in December 2015 ordered that the State Vigilance Bureau to register an FIR in the case and the the matter then be refereed to the CBI.
According to the FIR, industrial plots were given to 14 people by allegedly manipulating certain provisions of allotment which included allowing them to submit their applications even after the last date of submission ended.
The 14 people who had been allotted pieces of land had submitted their applications on January 24, 2012 whereas the last date of submission was January 6, 2012, as per the FIR.
Besides the chairman of HUDA, others named in the FIR are retired IAS officer DPS Nagal, the then chief administrator of HUDA, SC Kansal, the then controller of finance, and BB Taneja, the then deputy superintendent of HUDA.
The FIR also alleged that ineligible beneficiaries were alloted plots at rates lesser than the prevailing market rates, causing loss of several crores to the state exchequer.
It is alleged that the 14 plots, ranging from 496 square metre to 1,280 square metre, were allotted at throwaway prices after changes were made midway in the eligibility criteria.
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) OP Dahiya, Sidharth Bhardwaj, Ashok Verma, Anupam Sood and Sachin Sood.
It is alleged that all of them were related to politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people which included the then Chief Minister of the state.
The case has been registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.