The Central Bureau of Investigation is all set to file a chargesheet against former chief minister of Haryana and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Haryana governor Satyadev Narayan Arya on Thursday returned the file on the case to the state government giving his sanction to prosecute him. This had become a necessity according to the new Prevention of Corruption Act amendments passed in July this year.
In 2016, the state's vigilance bureau first launched a probe into how the Haryana Urban Development Authority under Mr Hooda had allotted land to the Associated Journals, the group that owned Congress-linked National Herald newspaper. The CBI which took over the case says that the re-allotment of this land in Panchkula when nothing had been built in 2005 is illegal. The original allotment was in 1982 and it was taken away in 1996, when there was failure to build on it. The re-allotment happened under Mr Hooda which is why he and other officials have been charged with cheating and corruption.
Mr Hooda has denied any wrongdoing and called the allegations an example of "political vendetta".
Sources told NDTV that Chief Minister ML Khattar first sought legal opinion in the case. Once that came, they moved the file to the Governor's office and sought his sanction which came on Monday. Reacting to these developments, Bhupinder Hooda said, "Land was given not just to National Herald but to many newspapers. And it is purely a political case because it was given much earlier." He also said that the decision to give the land to AJL was by HUDA and not by its chairman and everything was done according to procedure.
A sanction from the governor is a key part of the process which is why CBI could not prosecute former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in the Taj Corridor case which the state's governor refused to give his go-ahead.
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