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SC directs Haryana govt to submit Dhingra panel report

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Haryana government to submit justice Dhingra commission of inquiry report that deals with suspect land deals, including some linked to Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2017 21:10 IST
Pawan Sharma
(HT Representative Image)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Haryana government to submit justice Dhingra commission of inquiry report that deals with suspect land deals, including some linked to Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

While hearing a land acquisition case, the apex court bench headed by justice Adarsh Kumar Goel set April 17 as deadline for submitting the copy of the inquiry report in a sealed cover.

After coming to power in October 2014, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government had set up the one-man justice SN Dhingra commission of inquiry to probe licences given by the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government for the development of colonies, housing societies and commercial complexes in four Guragon villages.

At the core of different land acquisition cases of Haryana related to the Congress governcourt ment is the allegation that the farmers fearing cheap rates from the government, after land acquisition process began, were forced to sell their land to colonisers. Later, the acquired land was released benefiting the colonisers. “As per the Supreme Court direction, Haryana has to submit a copy of justice Dhingra’s inquiry report by Monday. Also, the court directed the CBI to complete its probe within four months,” Haryana additional advocate general Anil Grover told Hindustan Times over phone.

The contents of the justice Dhingra report are yet to be made public by the state government which had given an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana high court not to release the report until directed by the court.

Former chief minister Hooda had petitioned the high court challenging the constitutional validity of the panel and accusing the government of resorting to political vendetta. It was during hearing of Hooda’s petition that the state government had told the court that it will not make public justice Dhingra report.

The Dhingra commission had submitted a 182-page report after investigating into allegations that laws were flouted in granting land licences to some companies, including one owned by Robert Vadra.

“I wouldn’t have submitted a 182-page report if there was no irregularity (in grant of land licences in Gurgaon),” justice Dhingra, a former Delhi high judge, had said while submitting the report last year.

Vadra had termed the inquiry as a “political witch-hunt” launched by the BJP government in Haryana.

Wednesday’s apex court direction came in a land acquisition case related to Manesar industrial model township (IMT) in Gurgaon which the CBI has also been investigating. The CBI took over this case in 2015 and is investigating into the allegations of releasing the acquired land during the Congress government. “Haryana’s key submissions are that truth must come out; the guilty be punished; interests of innocents be protected and no financial implication be put on the state government,” Anil Grover, the AAG, said, pointing out that the court has reserved the order.

One of the terms of reference of the Dhingra inquiry was to probe the issues concerning the grant of licences for developing commercial colonies by the department of town and country planning, Haryana, to some entities in Sector 83, Gurgaon.