Vadra-DLF deal: Panel’s term extended
After seeking comments from Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka in March on the inquiry report prepared by a committee of three officers, constituted by the state government to probe his orders pertaining to the cancellation of mutation of 3.53 acres in Gurgaon’s Shikohpur village, the state government has now extended the term of the committee.chandigarh Updated: Apr 23, 2013 13:25 IST
After seeking comments from Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka in March on the inquiry report prepared by a committee of three officers, constituted by the state government to probe his orders pertaining to the cancellation of mutation of 3.53 acres in Gurgaon’s Shikohpur village, the state government has now extended the term of the committee.
The land was sold by Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra to real estate giant DLF Universal Ltd. Khemka had set aside the mutation of September 2012 on the grounds that the assistant consolidation officer (ACO), who had sanctioned the mutation, was not authorized to do so.
A personnel department communication of April 12 said that the term of the committee constituted on October 19, 2012, has been extended till such time that the matter is finally concluded.
It is learnt that after the state government sought comments from Khemka on the inquiry report, the committee of officers wrote to the government saying that the committee ceased to exist on completing the inquiry and submitting the report. Khemka was asked to send his comments to additional chief secretary, revenue, who was heading the committee of officers.
Khemka is yet to submit his comments on the report, which had termed his orders to cancel the mutation of 3.53 acres as “inappropriate and without jurisdiction”. He has sought more time from the state government. The extension of the term of the committee means that any new issue raised by Khemka while submitting his comments will also be referred to the committee for examination. Also, it will provide an opportunity to the committee to answer any aspersions cast by the IAS officer on it, state officials said.
Before submitting comments on the report, Khemka had sought information and documents pertaining to all properties purchased by Vadra or any of his companies. He had also asked from the government whether Vadra or DLF has made a representation or complaint regarding his orders of cancelling the mutation of Shikohpur land.
On January 8, 2013, Hindustan Times was the first to report the findings of the committee that had termed Khemka’s orders to cancel the mutation of 3.53 acres as “inappropriate and without jurisdiction”. The committee had also held Khemka’s order to be against the provisions of the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act and Punjab Land Revenue Act.
HT followed it up with another report on January 10, 2013, to bring into public domain another key finding of the probe report that held the government’s decision to renew the colonisation licence for Robert Vadra’s Sky Light Hospitality for Shikohpur land as legally correct. Khemka, as the then DGCH, had on October 15, 2012, questioned the renewal of the licence in favour of Sky Light Hospitality on the ground that the company had entered an agreement to sell land to DLF.
The inquiry committee was constituted to ascertain facts and to inquire into the matter to ascertain acts of omission and commission by various authorities mentioned in four letters/orders/documents.
It was mandated primarily to dissect the orders issued by Khemka as the inspector general of registration on October 12 and as director general, consolidation of holdings (DGCH) on October 15, 2012, asking deputy commissioners of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat to inspect the land documents of Vadra’s companies and estimate the real value of property and secondly cancelling the mutation of 3.5 acres in Shikohpur belonging to Vadra, respectively
It was also authorised to examine an October 16, 2012, letter written by the Gurgaon deputy commissioner rebutting Khemka’s orders and an October 12 letter by Khemka to the chief secretary wherein he had lodged a protest against his abrupt transfer from DGCH as he had exposed certain “scams” in the consolidation process.