Relief for Hooda as HC stays report on shady land deals

The decision of the court comes as a big relief for Bhupinder Singh Hooda who was the chief minister when the alleged irregularities took place. PTI file photo

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday restrained the Haryana government from publishing Justice Dhingra Commission report to probe alleged irregularities in grant of licences to developers of commercial colonies in Gurugram, including one given to Robert Vadra’s company and real estate major DLF.

The decision of the court comes as a big relief for Bhupinder Singh Hooda who was the chief minister when the alleged irregularities took place.

The division bench of Justice A K Mittal and Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal referred the matter to the Chief Justice of the High Court for further action. The court has scheduled next hearing on April 18.

The one-man commission had submitted its 182-page report to the state government on August 31, 2016. Hooda had challenged the commission report and its constitution in the high court. The former chief minister on Thursday hailed the verdict. Hooda had termed the government move a case of alleged political witch hunt and vendetta.

The commission was set up in the BJP-ruled state under the Manohar Lal Khattar government in 2015 and was given the mandate to probe allegations of rules that were bent in the grant of licences in Gurugram during Hooda’s Congress regime. The company owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was one of the beneficiaries of the “shady” land deals during Hooda’s term.

The court held that the commission did not follow the due process in serving notice to Hooda in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act. The court also observed that due process was followed in setting up the panel without malafide.

Justice Mittal said a fresh notice could be issued by the Dhingra Commission to Hooda. However, Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal maintained that as the commission now ceases to exist, the government can constitute a fresh panel. The court opened the sealed report of the commission.

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Relief for Hooda as HC stays report on shady land deals

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