The first-time BJP government in Haryana has ordered a number of inquiries into the alleged acts of omission and commission of the previous Congress regime. Some of the prominent land-related matters which have been put under the scanner are:
May 2015: A commission of inquiry headed by Justice (retd) SN Dhingra was set up to probe issues pertaining to grant of commercial licence to M/s Sky Light Hospitality, the company owned by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in Gurgaon’s sector 83. The town and country planning department had in 2008 granted a commercial licence to Vadra company for 2.7 acres land in Sector 83 (Shikohpur), Gurgaon.
The scope of inquiry was widened in August on the advice of Justice Dhingra. The Cabinet subsequently ordered that the Commission of Inquiry will probe colonisation of licenses issued in four Gurgaon villages - Sihi, Shikohpur, Kherki Daula and Sikanderpur Bada. It was also decided that the Commission will inquire into licences issued for developing all kinds of colonies in the four villages and not commercial colonies alone. Subsequently, Gurgaon sectors from 78 to 86 besides the already notified Sector 83 came under the ambit of Commission’s probe. Recently, the term of Commission of Inquiry was extended by another six months from December 8, 2015 to June 7, 2016.
June 2015: Vigilance inquiry ordered into irregularities in the allotment of land to International Amusement Limited, promoters of Appu Ghar amusement park and Kingdom of Dreams, both in Gurgaon’s Sector 29. Vigilance Bureau also started a probe into allotment of auditorium site in Gurgaon to the Great Indian Nautanki Company running the Kingdom of Dreams.
September 2015: The CBI registered a case against builders and Haryana officials for their alleged role in the fraudulent purchase of 400 acres land, worth `1,600 crore (as per then market rates) from gullible farmers in Haryana’s Gurgaon district for a mere `100 crore. The purchases allegedly occurred under the threat of acquisition by the state government, during August 27, 2004 to August 24, 2007, as part of its then upcoming project to acquire 912 acres land for setting up an Industrial Model Township across villages Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula.
The land, which was once being acquired for creating residential and recreational utilities in Industrial Model Township (IMT), Manesar was released from acquisition by the previous Congress government. The 912 acres were sought to be acquired by the state government and notifications under Sections 4 (preliminary notification) and 6 (declaration that land is required for public purpose) of the Land Acquisition Act were issued on August 27, 2004, and August 25, 2005, respectively. It was contended that the subsequent decision to drop proceedings after having issued notices under Section 9 (sending notices to persons that the government intends to take possession of the land and claims of compensation be made to collector) compelled petitioners to sell their land at throwaway prices under the threat of acquisition.
November 2015: Punjab and Haryana high court set aside the allotment of 222 industrial plots in Rohtak. The allotments were challenged in 2010 on the allegations of favouritism and lack of transparency. The HC said that process of allotment of plots was found to be arbitrary without framing any objective, transparent and rationale criteria. A committee of officers appointed by the HC also concluded that no criterion was evolved by the allotment committee to appraise/allot marks on various indices to the applicants.