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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Judges, bureaucrats, politicians in HUDA multiple-plot list

The allotments under the discretionary quota were made by HUDA between 1974 and 1999.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Published: June 7, 2014 3:37:28 am
HUDA office in Panchkula. HUDA office in Panchkula.

A number of former high court judges, senior bureaucrats, top police officers and politicians got more than one plot each under the Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) discretionary quota or direct allotment scheme, according to the HUDA website.

All such names and their documents are being scanned now as part of HUDA’s probe into multiple allotments of plots to individuals on the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In its affidavit filed in the court last week, HUDA identified 37 such beneficiaries, including former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi, to whom multiple allotments were made. But a check of the HUDA website by The Indian Express revealed at least 171 individuals, including those named in the affidavit, got multiple plots either in their names or in the names of their children or spouses.

The allotments under the discretionary quota were made by HUDA between 1974 and 1999.

Some of the prominent names who figure on HUDA’s website include then Justice J P Tandon, Justice Gokul Chand Mittal and his relative Sheela Mittal and Justice S K Jain.

Among the politicians named are former MLAs Khurshid Ahmad, Shakurullah Khan, Uday Singh Dalal and Pusha Ram, former MP Muktiyar Singh, former ministers Kulbir Singh and his relative Manjeet Kaur.

The list also includes former IAS officers Rajiv Sharma, L M Mehta, S G Sundram, Gulab Singh and his relative Babita, and IPS officers Girdhar Gopal, V N Negi and his relative Prem Lata Singh.

“We are still in the process of scrutinising our documents. This requires a lot of manpower and time. So far, we have identified 37 such persons, who prima facie appear to have got double allotments in their names. Notices have been served to them, asking them to explain how they got multiple plots allotments. The list has been submitted in the hon’ble court. All such beneficiaries shall be identified and legal procedure shall be followed,” a senior HUDA officer said.

One of the beneficiaries, L M Mehta, a retired IAS officer who got two plots, said, “When I got the plots, there was no such criteria barring anybody from getting more than one plot. I think it was introduced in 1990. And as far as I am concerned, I did mention that I already have a plot when I applied for the second one. There was no concealment of facts on my part.”

Justice S K Jain, who retired in 1995 and got two plots, said, “The catch at that time was language of the affidavit, that read the applicant does not own any plot in the said urban estate where he was applying for a plot under the discretionary quota. I did not have a plot in Karnal, nor in Panchkula. I applied and got it. I had already sold off the Karnal plot because I did not like it. I have constructed a house on Panchkula plot.”

Justice G C Mittal said, “In those days, Haryana government offered plots to number of high court judges in Panchkula because it was being developed and nobody used to come and stay in Panchkula that time. I retired 19 years ago. I was Chief Justice of Delhi High Court when I sold both the plots. One was in my name, another was in my wife’s name.” Another such beneficiary, Justice J M Tandon, has passed away.

Gulab Singh, a former IAS officer, said, “I do not exactly remember now since the allotments are very old. I will have to check my records. I might have sold the plots.”

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