Even as Election Commissioner Navin Chawla fends off allegations of partisanship,made by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami,the former is now embroiled in a land scam in Jaipur. On Monday,a Jaipur court ordered a police probe into land acquisitions made by two trusts in which Chawla was the chairman.
The court order came after a petition filed by the BJPs legal cell state chief Yogendra Tanwar recently. In his petition,Tanwar has alleged that the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) had sold two trusts run by Chawla 10 acres for throwaway prices in April 2000 before the trusts were even officially registered. Incidentally,the allegations are similar to those made by the ruling Congress Government against the previous BJP Government and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje in the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Trust scam in Jaipur.
The Jaipur court ordered Gandhinagar police station SHO Aahat Khan to hand over the probe to a senior police officer. Khan said,We received the orders on Monday and have handed over the courts directives to the Superintendent of Police,as the court has ordered an inquiry by a senior police officer. He added that the inquiry was to be completed by March 16.
According to Tanwar,the JDA,at the behest of the then Ashok Gehlot-led Congress Government,had sold 10 acres of land to the Lala Chamanlal Trust for Boys and Bhagwani Devi Trust for girls,of which Chawla was then the chairman.
The land was sold for Rs 31 lakh,when it was actually worth around Rs 2.5 crore. Moreover,the JDA and state Government then did not even charge the trusts for constructing a boundary wall worth Rs 5 lakh, Tanwar said.
Tanwar also claimed to have submitted proof that Chawla sent two letters to the JDA on his official letterhead. Chawla was initially principal secretary ports and power with the Pondicherry Government and then secretary UPSC. He sent letters to the JDA on letterheads of these positions about the land allotment and request to build a boundary wall. These documents are with the court, Tanwar said.