The CBI Friday searched the home of former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Rohtak after registering a fresh case against him over land acquisition in Gurgaon.
The searches were conducted after the CBI Wednesday registered an FIR on charges of corruption against Hooda, senior IAS officer T C Gupta, 15 private colonisers and others. In the FIR, the CBI has accused Hooda and Gupta of conspiring with at least 14 builders to cheat landowners and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) by allegedly issuing fraudulent licences and releasing acquired land to real estate developers.
This is the third FIR registered by CBI against Hooda in the last four years. He also faces another FIR being investigated by Haryana police. Calling it “dirty vendetta politics”, Hooda said: “These people (BJP) have been after me for the last five years, but have got nothing.”
During the searches in Rohtak, Hooda and his son and MP Deepender were both at their home and were to go to the Jind assembly constituency Friday to campaign for Congress candidate Randeep Singh Surjewala.
After the five-hour search, Hooda held a press conference, where he lashed out at the BJP. Other Congress leaders, including Karan Dalal and former Speaker Kuldeep Sharma, accused the BJP of resorting to “vendetta politics”.
“The BJP could not resist the increasing popularity of Bhupinder Hooda across the state. That is the reason they have resorted to this dirty politics,” said Dalal.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, however, dismissed the Congress allegations. “The CBI is an independent investigating agency and is doing its job. Had it (CBI) been following our command, we would not have allowed raids at this stage and given an alibi to Congress for its definite defeat in the forthcoming Jind bypoll,” he said.
According to the CBI, it conducted searches at more than 20 locations including New Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Mohali. The case is related to the acquisition of land for development of Sectors 58 to 63 and 65 to 67 in Gurgaon. The acquisition was allegedly started with the objective of building a land bank for HUDA to provide affordable housing.
The notifications and acquisitions were made in such a manner that landowners were forced to make distress sale to builders, the FIR has alleged. It has also said that licenses were granted in a manner that over 600 acres of the over 1,400 acres of acquired land became redundant for HUDA and had to be released for development to builders.
According to the CBI, Gupta was then chief administrator of HUDA and subsequently posted as Director, Urban Estate and Director, Town and Country Planning. Hooda was also minister in-charge of Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Haryana.
The CBI also said it registered the case based on Supreme Court directions on November 1, 2017.
Among the companies accused are DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers, Emaar MGF, JMD Ltd, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure, R S Infrastructure, Martial Buildcon, Marconi Infratech, Commander Realtors, SU Estates, Buzz Hotels, Krrish Buildtech, Gupta Promoters, H S Realty, DSS Infrastructure and Sana Realtors.