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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Hooda govt delaying action in cash-for-land use scam: INLD

IANS  Chandigarh, February 02, 2014
First Published: 16:15 IST(2/2/2014) | Last Updated: 16:20 IST(2/2/2014)

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Sunday accused the Haryana government of using delaying tactics in registering a corruption case against the state's chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Ram Kishan Fauji in a cash-for-change of land use scandal.

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The state's Lokayukta recently recommended registration of the case against Ram Kishan Fauji.

The Lokayukta asked the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government on Jan 21 to get the matter investigated by a senior police officer.

However, instead of getting a case registered and getting the matter investigated against Fauji, the government sent a reference to the Lokayukta "to re-examine and re-consider its report on the alleged CD incident".

Haryana chief secretary SC Chaudhary said the reference was sent  back to the Lokayukta for re-examination "as there are variations between the findings and the observations".

"The Hooda government in Haryana is only trying to delay action in the matter. The Lokayukta made the recommendations after examining all aspects and recording statements of all sides. The government is trying to protect the corrupt," INLD secretary general Abhay Chautala said.

The order from the Lokayukta, justice (retd) Pritam Pal, came on a complaint from a man, who also sent a video CD showing Fauji allegedly demanding Rs. 5 crore to get him a change of land use (CLU) licence from the government.

The complainant did a sting operation on Fauji last year.

"We have already pointed out that if the Haryana government wants the CD to be verified, it can get it done independently. They can take action against us if the CD is found to be fake or forged," an INLD spokesman told IANS.

The Lokayukta, while recommending registration of a case against Fauji under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), said that prima facie, "Fauji committed a cognisable offence punishable under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act".

The Lokayukta sought the investigation report at the earliest.

Fauji is a Congress legislator from the Bhiwani Khera (reserved) assembly seat in Haryana. He is at present the CPS in the state government, a rank just below a minister.

The INLD released CDs of some Haryana Congress legislators, including Fauji, and their kin last year which showed them making deals to procure CLU certificates from the Hooda government for a hefty consideration.

After the matter was raised in the state assembly, the government  referred the CDs to the Lokayukta for investigation in September last year.

Chautala demanded the resignation of chief minister, saying that the Lokayukta's decision had exposed the corruption being indulged in by Congress leaders.

He said the Hooda government had indulged in wholesale corruption by granting hundreds of CLUs while ignoring the interests of people of Haryana.

Other legislators on whom CDs were released included Vinod Bhayaina, Naresh Selwal, Sampat Singh, Ram Niwas Ghorela, Jaleb Khan and Jarnail Singh.

CLU licences are a big attraction in the state, particularly in the districts adjoining national capital New Delhi, due to real estate prices.

Haryana borders Delhi on three sides, including Gurgaon district.

The Lokayukta's recommendation against Fauji came as an embarrassment for the Hooda government. The state goes for assembly elections October this year. This will be preceded by the general elections.

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