Having received a compact disc (CD) allegedly showing five Congress legislators and three others seeking money for facilitating change of land use (CLU) licences, the anti-corruption ombudsman has sent notices to Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders Abhey Chautala and Ashok Arora to authenticate its genuineness.
While the lokayukta, justice Pritam Pal (retd), could not be contacted, it has been learnt that Chautala and Arora were sent notices under Section 14 of the Haryana Lokayukta Act, 2002, asking them to appear on or before November 21.
The lokayukta had received the CD from the chief secretary's office earlier this week. It was procured from governor Jagannath Pahadia, to whom the INLD leaders had submitted it along with a memorandum, demanding a thorough investigation into the matter.
The lokayukta has started an investigation after the Congress government sent a reference to it under Section 8 (1) of the Haryana Lokayukta Act on September 10. The INLD leaders had, on September 6 and 7, released the video footage that created a furoure on the opening day of the assembly session, triggering protests from thw opposition benches. The uproar led to the suspension of all INLD MLAs for the rest of the session.
The lokayukta, using his judicial power of the civil court under Section 14 of the Act, had asked through a public notice on September 11 for any material, including CDs, within a month. Since it did not get any, it subsequently sent notices to the chief secretary as well as town and country planning principal secretary.
The video footage allegedly showed legislators Ram Kishen Fouji (Bawani Khera), Vinod Bhayana (Hansi), Naresh Selwal (Uklana) and Jarnail Singh (Ratia) seeking bribe for facilitating CLU licences. Barwala MLA Ram Niwas Ghorela allegedly demanded money for getting a school opened in brick kilns under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Besides, sons of Congress' Nalwa MLA Sampat Singh and independent MLA from Hathin Jaleb Khan, and former Haryana Youth Congress president Sanjay Chokhar allegedly sought bribe for getting the CLU licences.
The Congress had rubbished the charges, terming the CDs doctored.