CBI files charge sheet against Hooda, Vora in AJL case

CBI files charge sheet against Hooda, Vora in AJL case

Bhupinder Singh Hooda. PTI file photo

The CBI on Saturday filed a charge sheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora in connection with the re-allotment of an institutional plot to Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of National Herald newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru.

The charge sheet, filed in a special CBI court, claimed that the re-allotment of the plot C-17 in Sector 6 of Panchkula in Haryana to AJL controlled by top Congress leaders, caused a loss of Rs 67 lakh to the exchequer.

The agency has charged 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 IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In the charge sheet, the CBI has alleged that the AJL was allotted a plot of land in Panchkula in 1982, on which no construction took place till 1992. The HUDA had subsequently taken back the possession of the plot.

It charged that the same plot was re-allotted to the AJL at its original rates in 2005 by reportedly violating norms laid down by the then HUDA chairman, Hooda.

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

“The government is working with bad intentions. The matter is sub-judice and the truth will triumph at last. We will give a reply to the charge sheet. There are no irregularities in the matter,” Vora, AICC General Secretary, said.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the Modi government of indulging in such acts during election time.

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

CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury accused the Modi government of interfering in the functioning of investigative agencies that are required to be independent.

“We have been seeing the way these cases are going against Opposition leaders. It is happening in Andhra and everywhere else now. All these institutions which require to be independent are being utilised in this way,” Yechury said.