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CBI Charges Bhupinder Hooda, Motilal Vora For 'Illegal' Land Allotment to National Herald Publisher

The AJL is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family. The group runs the National Herald newspaper.

Nitisha Kashyap | CNN-News18

Updated:December 1, 2018, 1:43 PM IST
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CBI Charges Bhupinder Hooda, Motilal Vora For 'Illegal' Land Allotment to National Herald Publisher
File photo of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday filed a chargesheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Motilal Vora, in connection with the alleged illegal allotment of a plot to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald Newspaper.

The central agency, which filed the chargesheet in a special court, has alleged that the re-allotment of an institutional plot in sector-6 of Panchkula, Haryana to AJL had caused a loss of Rs 67 lakh to the exchequer.

The AJL is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family. The group runs the National Herald newspaper.

The agency has charged the then Haryana chief minister Hooda, who was also the chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the then chairman of the AJL, Vora, and the company under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In the chargesheet, it has been alleged that the Hooda government allotted the plot in violation of norms. The 3500 square feet plot was given on lease to AJL in 1982, but no construction took place on it till 1992. HUDA took back the possession in 1996 after the lease expired.

The chargesheet alleged that the same plot was re-allotted to the AJL at its original rates in 2005 by allegedly violating the laid down norms by the then HUDA chairman, Hooda.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the chargesheet being filed just ahead of the elections reeked of political vendetta.

“As polls approach, government indulges in such acts. Five years (of Modi government) are about to get over, they've all powers but do they have any evidence? Their only aim is to use such tools as per convenience during polls,” he said.

The case was initially taken up by the Haryana State Vigilance Bureau and an FIR was filed in 2016 against Hooda and four HUDA officials. The re-allotment of land was done against the legal opinion of the authorities, the FIR had stated.

The CBI took over the investigation of the case in April 2017. The agency, in October this year, sought permission to prosecute Hooda in the case.

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