Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress on Thursday claimed before the Punjab and Haryana high court that either the state BJP government or some of its officers have leaked the Justice (retd) SN Dhingra panel report into alleged land scams in Haryana.
The panel was set up in 2015 to probe allegations that laws were flouted in granting land licences in Gurugram during the Hooda-led Congress regime. Among the alleged beneficiary companies were one owned by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
In the application, which he later withdrew, Hooda had alleged that from reliable sources he had come to know that an English business daily was about to publish a news report on the basis of the probe report. It will result in irreparable loss to the petitioner (Hooda), hence the newspaper be made as party and restrained from publishing contents of the report, senior advocate ML Sarin, who appeared for Hooda, told the court.
As justices AK Mittal and Ramendra Jain sought the source of Hooda’s information, the veteran Congressman’s counsels did not have any clear answer. Later the court observed that the Haryana advocate general had already given an undertaking that the report will not be made public. Hence, no direction could be issued at this stage. Hooda later withdrew the petition.
The Dhingra panel submitted its report on August 31 last year. The state government gave an undertaking in November 2016 not to release the report without the court’s permission. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court too had sought a copy of the report in a sealed cover in a land acquisition case.
Hooda had filed a petition in November 2016 challenging the very constitution of the Dhingra panel, alleging that the government action of ordering the probe was “mala fide” and a result of political “vendetta”. The HC is yet to issue a formal notice to the state government on that.