THE HARYANA State Vigilance Bureau Saturday registered a criminal case against former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the Panchkula industrial plot allotment case — referring to him not by name but only as former chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in 2012-13. As the chief minister during the period under investigation, Hooda was also HUDA chairman.
The FIR, however, names several others, including IAS officer D P S Nagal, then Chief Administrator, HUDA, S C Kansal and B B Taneja, both holding key positions in HUDA in 2012-13, and 13 beneficiaries of the coveted industrial plots allotted by the Congress government in Panchkula in that time period. The Vigilance Bureau has registered the FIR on the directions issued by incumbent CM Manohar Lal Khattar.
The FIR No. 7 was registered by the SVB on charges, including destruction of evidence, embezzlement, cheating, fraud, forgery, criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Indian Express had first reported on October 19, 2013 about the allotment of the industrial plots to those allegedly linked to the former CM, including the widow of his nephew, the son of his secretary, the daughter-in-law of his OSD, and the son of a close aide. In May, Khattar had ordered a vigilance inquiry into the case.
Meanwhile, the Haryana ruling party politicians said the registration of the case against Hooda and others was not “vendetta”.
Haryana’s Finance and Industries Minister Captain Abhimanyu said, “A large number of land scams took place during the 10-year rule of Congress in Haryana. As and when the cases are coming to the government’s notice, action is being taken. The 14 industrial plots were given by the former government to its near and dear ones in violation of all rules and regulations.” Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, too, said the FIR was not a result of any vendetta.