INLD targets Venod Sharma over ‘land scam’

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Monday accused the ruling Congress government in Haryana of having indulged in a massive land scam worth hundreds of crores of rupees

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 8, 2014 5:37 pm

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Monday accused the ruling Congress government in Haryana of having indulged in a massive land scam worth hundreds of crores of rupees. Party leaders also revealed,what they said,were links between various firms and Onkareshwar Properties Private Limited — the company that sold land to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.

The Opposition party singled out senior Congress leader Venod Sharma and alleged that his close associates became directors of companies that kept getting licenses,for commercial and residential colonies,from the Haryana government around the time the Vadra-DLF land deals were taking place.

In a press conference here,INLD leaders,Abhay Chautala and the party’s state president Ashok Arora,further alleged that because of this rampant licensing,land prices — in areas where developers’ licenses were issued to “certain favourites” — escalated manifold.

They claimed that three companies — Onkareshwar Properties Limited,Markbuild Tech and Lakshyabuild Tech — had financial transactions with companies owned by Venod Sharma’s son Kartikey Sharma.

The INLD leaders added that according to the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs,the three companies also shared the same registered office between 2008 and 2011 — Flat No. 714,Hemkunth Chambers,89,Nehru Place,New Delhi.

It was subsequently changed to Flat No. 723,Hemkunth Chambers,89,Nehru Place and after 2012,the addresses of all the three companies were shifted to Satyanand Yajee’s residence in Neb Sarai,New Delhi.

Satyanand Yajee was the director of Onkareshwar Properties in 2008,when he sold 3.5 acres of land in Shikhopur village,Gurgaon,to M/s Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited — a company owned by Robert Vadra.

It is this land that Vadra sold to M/s DLF Retail Developers Private Limited (now known as DLF Universal Limited).

“Venod Sharma’s son Kartikeya is the director of Information TV Private Limited. In 2009 and 2010,Onkareshwar Properties’ balance sheets show that the company invested Rs 3 crore in Information TV Private Limited. In 2010,Onkareshwar Properties invested Rs 25 crore in the same company. Kartikeya Sharma’s Information TV Private Limited also has financial relationship with the Vatika group,” Abhay Chautala alleged.

“The Vatika group’s directors have also been associated with Onkareshwar Properties. In fact,after the land was sold to Vadra’s company,the Haryana government granted three land licenses to the Vatika group. After the licenses were granted to Vatika group,the prices of the land sold by Vadra to DLF touched approximately Rs 500 crore. Vatika group’s assets after February 19,2008,rose to Rs 20.9 crore within a year. In the next three years,the company’s documents show that it recorded a Rs 85-crore profit and Rs 71 crore as cash/ bank balance. The company also has Rs 136 crore in reserves and it has handed out Rs 56.38 crore as loans,” the INLD leaders alleged.

Further targetting Venod Sharma,the Opposition leaders said that the firm,Markbuild Tech,has Sharma’s close associates as its directors. “The company’s directors include Dhirender Dadwal,Harvinder Chopra and Tarun Bhanot (one of Venod Sharma’s relatives). This company was also granted five licenses for land measuring 28.49 acres”,Arora said.

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