THE CBI on Monday questioned former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for eight hours in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in the allotment of industrial plots at Panchkula. The plots were allotted by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), of which Hooda was the chairman.
CBI sources said the former CM arrived at the CBI headquarters at 10 am and was allowed to leave at 6 pm. Besides questioning Hooda on the various allegations against him, the agency also sought his explanation on certain incriminating documents related to the case. It is alleged that the orders for allotment of plots were issued from then CM Hooda’s office.
“We have to verify the claims that he has made during the questioning. If we are not satisfied, he will be called for questioning again,” said a CBI official. Last week, CBI also questioned then principal additional secretary to Hooda, Chattar Singh, who is currently a member of the UPSC. In December 2015, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had ordered the State Vigilance Bureau to register an FIR in the case and refer the matter to the CBI.
According to the FIR, industrial plots were given to 14 people by allegedly manipulating certain provisions of allotment, which included allowing them to submit their applications after the deadline had ended. These people submitted their applications on January 24, 2012, while the last date of submission was January 6, 2012, as per the FIR.
Besides the chairman of HUDA, others named in the FIR are retired IAS officer D P S Nagal, the then HUDA chief administrator, S C Kansal, the then controller of finance, and B B Taneja, the then deputy superintendent of HUDA.
According to the FIR, ineligible beneficiaries were alloted plots at rates less than the prevailing market rates, causing loss of several crores of rupees to the state exchequer. It is alleged that the 14 plots, ranging from 496 square metres to 1,280 square metres, were allotted at throwaway prices after changes were made midway in the eligibility criteria.
Those who were allotted the industrial plots are: Renu Hooda, Manjot Kaur, Nandita Hooda, Mona Beri, Pardeep Kumar, K P S Sandhu, Dagar Katyal, Ganesh Dutt Ratan, Aman Gupta, Lt Col O P Dahiya (retd), Sidharth Bhardwaj, Ashok Verma, Anupam Sood and Sachin Sood. All of them are reported to be related to politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people. The case has been registered under various sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.