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Curious Case of Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra's Sweetheart Land Deals

Ashish Mehrishi | CNN-News18

Updated: April 28, 2017, 8:53 PM IST
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Curious Case of Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra's Sweetheart Land Deals
File photo of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra.

New Delhi: The defence put out by Priyanka Gandhi, according to media reports, in the land deals where she and her husband Robert Vadra turned from buyers to sellers within a few years, making profit of several lakh rupees, has led to a full blown political debate.

Opponents have said that these deals clearly show that Gandhi and Vadra benefited unduly. CNN News18 lists the alleged loopholes in Priyanka Gandhi’s defence of the land deals in Amipur village of Faridabad district:

CNN News18 is in possession of documents which clearly show how Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra bought land from and sold to the same person.

In a span of three-four years, the buyer became the seller and the seller became the buyer. During the period, the land had seen almost no development.

Priyanka Gandhi bought 5 acres of land in Amipur Village from a Gurgaon-based individual named Harban Lal Pahwa for Rs 15 lakh. Documentary evidence in possession of CNN News18 shows that the transaction happened on April 28, 2006.

Three years down the line, the same piece of land was sold by Priyanka Gandhi to Harbans Lal Pahwa for Rs 80 lakh. Documents show the deal with Pahwa was inked on June 16, 2009.

Around the same time, Robert Vadra entered three land deals in Amipur. Interestingly, the modus operandi was almost the same. In this case as well, the buyer became the seller and vice versa in a short span of time.

Documents show that Vadra purchased pieces of land between September 2005 and January 2006. In totality, Vadra purchased three chunks of land measuring 41 acres for Rs 1.16 crore. The same property was sold in 2010 for almost Rs 3 crore. Vadra made a mammoth Rs 1.83 cr in this sweetheart deal.

The biggest mystery is why Harbans Lal Pahwa had figured in almost all transactions and why did he chose to suffer a loss of Rs 2.5 crore in a span of three-four years.

The jigsaw puzzle falls in place after a closer look at the balance sheet of companies owned by Robert Vadra. Documents show that Pahwa’s company Carnival Intercontinental Estate (P) Ltd. gave a loan of Rs 1.55 crore to Skylight Hospitality, a company owned by Robert Vadra. Interestingly, Harbans Lal Pahwa held directorship in Vadra’s company Real Earth between February 2008 and March 2009.

Justice S N Dhingra report: a recap

Justice S N Dhingra Commission was set up in May 2015 to probe the grant of licences for change in land use (CLU) in Gurugram

Dhingra Commission had submitted its 182-page report to Haryana CM M L Khattar in Chandigarh on August 31, 2016

The Dhingra panel is probing a mutation of land deal between Robert Vadra’s firm Skylight Hospitality and realty major DLF

2012: Vadra’s firm sells a 3.5-acre plot in Gurgram’s Shikohpur village to DLF for Rs 58 crore

2008: Vadra purchases the 3.53-acre plot in Gurgram’s Shikohpur village for Rs 7.5 crore

Vadra sold the plot after Haryana govt wanted to set up a commercial colony on 2.71 acres of his land

Justice Dhingra is a retired judge of Delhi HC

First Published: April 28, 2017, 7:41 PM IST
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