Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala has written to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to register a case of corruption and criminal conspiracy against trustees and directors of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) and then chief minister and chairman of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Bhupinder Singh Hooda for alleged illegal allotment of land to AJL in 2005.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had moved court in 2012 alleging that the Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL) which had Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, besides some other party leaders, on its board of directors, were involved in cheating and breach of trust in the acquisition of AJL as its assets worth crores of rupees had been transferred to YIL. The AJL which printed the National Herald newspaper was given a loan by the Congress party and had gone defunct. The AJL also had some Congress leaders as its directors.
Abhay, who is the leader of Opposition in state assembly, said in the letter written on Monday that the plot no C-17, measuring 3,360 square meters, in the prime Sector 6 of Panchkula was re-allotted to the AJL on June 29, 2005.
Abhay said the said plot had been allotted to the AJL in 1982 but after the company failed to make use of the land, it was taken back in 1996. “However, no sooner had the Congress been voted to power in 2005, then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda initiated the process of restoring the plot to AJL on a representation made on its behalf by one of the trustees,” Abhay wrote and citing media reports alleged that Hooda was advised by the administration as well as by the legal remembrance (LR) that there was no legal provision for such re-allotment and if the provisions or policy allowed, then it could only be allotted afresh at the prevalent rates.
Stating that a prima facie cognisable criminal offence had been made out against all above mentioned persons, Abhay demanded that a criminal case be registered under Sections 406, 409, 467 and 468 IPC and 13 (1) D of Prevention of Corruption Act (read with Section 120 B IPC) against Hooda, for illegal allotment of the plot to the AJL in Sector 6, Panchkula in public interest.