Ex-minister takes RTI route to prove innocence in graft case

Dhariwal said he had filed an RTI application to obtain the documents related to the scam and would appear before the ACB once he received the documents, probably by October 16.

Written by Mahim Pratap Singh | Jaipur | Published:October 9, 2015 12:05 am

After being called in by the Anti-Corruption Bureau for questioning in a purported land scam, Congress leader and former Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal has sought more time from the Bureau in order to prepare
himself.

Dhariwal said he had filed an RTI application to obtain the documents related to the scam and would appear before the ACB once he received the documents, probably by October 16.

The ACB has already arrested a senior Rajasthan Administrative Service officer in the case and is on the lookout for former IAS officer G S Sandhu — who retired as the chairperson of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention on September 30.

“It is pure political vendetta. I discovered the scam in 2013 and had myself cancelled the deed. I had also recommended an FIR against errant officials of the Jaipur Development Authority,” Dhariwal told The Indian Express.

“But then the BJP came to power and no FIR was registered. Now suddenly, they have woken up. I am ready to cooperate with the investigation but I need time to strengthen my defence. I am collecting relevant documents and have filed an RTI application with an urgent clause to get the documents,” he said.

The ACB had served a notice to Dhariwal on Wednesday, calling him for questioning in a case pertaining to the alleged illegal transfer of a piece of land to a construction company while he was the minister for urban development in the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in 2011.

The 28 bigha piece of land registered for use by a housing society — pegged at over Rs 300 crore — was reportedly transferred to Ganpati construction company through a single land deed, only for a nominal amount by government officials illegally. The company owner is already in jail.

Last year, the ACB had registered an FIR in the case. On Tuesday, it arrested RAS officer Nishkam Diwakar— who has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.

The ACB teams are now on the lookout of Sandhu — who was the Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Housing department then.

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