New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday searched residences and offices of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his close aides in an alleged Rs 1,500 crore land acquisition scam in Manesar.
CBI sources said besides Hooda's residence, premises of the then Principal Secretary M L Tayal, UPSC member Chattar Singh, both former IAS officers, and a serving IAS SS Dhillon were also searched by the team.
"In an ongoing investigation, CBI carried out searches at 20 locations in Rohtak, Gurgaon, Panchkula and Delhi in connection with allegedirregularitiesin the purchase of land from farmers in Gurgaon," CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said.
The agency had registered the case last year in September on allegations that private builders in conspiracy with unknown public servants of Haryana Government had purchased around 400 acres of land from farmers and land owners of village Manesar, Naurangpur & Lakhnoula, District Gurgaon at throw away prices, showing the threat of acquisition by the government, during the period August 27, 2004 to August 24, 2007.
It is alleged that in this process, initially, the Haryana Government had issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land measuring about 912 acres for setting up an Industrial Model Township at Villages Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula in Gurgaon.
After that, all the land had allegedly been grabbed from the land owners by private builders under the threat of acquisition at meager rates, CBI had said after registration of the case.
It is alleged that an order was also passed by the competent authority i.e. the Director of Industries on August 24, 2007 releasing this land from the acquisition process and the land was released in violation of the government policy, in favour of the builders, their companies and agents, instead of the original land owners.
The CBI has alleged in its FIR that in the said manner, land measuring about 400 acres whose market value at that time was above Rs 4 crore per acre approximately totaling about Rs 1,600 crore approximately was allegedly purchased by the private builders & others from the innocent land owners for only about Rs 100 crore.
It was alleged that a loss of Rs 1,500 crore was caused to the land owners of village Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula of Gurgaon.
In 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General had said undue favours were extended to private builders by the Haryana government.
Then, Justice SN Dhingra Commission of Inquiry was set up to probe grant of commercial licence of land to hundreds of private companies, including Skylight Hospitality (owned by Robert Vadra) and DLF.
Hooda was the chief minister of Haryana for 10 years from 2004 to 2014.