Priyanka's Shimla visit coincides with her case hearing on Friday

  • Gaurav Bisht, None, Shimla
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2015 23:16 IST

It is a mere coincidence that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's visit to Chharabra village, 14 km from the capital town of Shimla, is coinciding with the hearing of her case in the Himachal Pradesh high court on Friday on a petition against the state information commission.

Priyanka reached Shimla on Thursday to inspect her cottage, which is under construction at Chharabra.

Later in the evening, she visited the cottage site along with her with architects.

Priyanka's visit had been kept closely guarded owing to her security reasons. She is putting up at Hotel Wildflower Hall.
This is Priyanka's third visit to the site this year, located close to the President's summer holiday retreat. Earlier, when she along with her mother Sonia Gandhi had gone there, she had asked the builders to demolish the structure after expressing dissatisfaction with its design and roofing.

The site, spread over 3.5 bighas (a bigha is about 0.4 hectare), is situated at a height of more than 8,000 feet amid verdant pine and cedar trees. Priyanka bought the nearly one acre (4.25 bighas) plot in 2007 for around `47 lakh and its market value is now estimated at `1.5 crore per bigha. The then Himachal government had relaxed the norms under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act to facilitate the sale. Under the current land regulations only permanent residents can buy land in the state.

On Monday, Priyanka through her counsel moved an application in the high court seeking stay on the state information commission's proceeding in the case asking information of the detail of land purchased at Charabara.

On Tuesday, she moved a contempt plea, making state information commissioner as party in the case.

The high court on her plea had stayed the state info panel's June 29 order to divulge the information on the second appeal of RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, whose plea was earlier turned down by the Shimla DC on "security grounds".

Priyanka later moved the high court seeking a stay on the SIC order. Citing a "security threat", she also questioned Bhattacharya's domicile.

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