AJL plot case: Hooda appears in CBI court, next hearing on Dec 16
Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday appeared in the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, Panchkula, in connection with the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) plot allotment case.
Though the court was scheduled to begin arguments on the charges against the accused, the hearing was deferred due to unavailability of the senior defence counsel. The special CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh fixed December 16 as the next date of hearing.
The court granted exemption to senior Congress leader Moti Lal Vora, also an accused in the case, from appearance on health grounds.
On December 1 last year, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Hooda, Vora, then chairman of AJL which publishes the National Herald, a newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru, under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 13(I) (d), read with 13 (2), of the Preventions of Corruption Act, 1988.
The case pertains to the restoration of an institutional plot in Panchkula to AJL at old prices. Hooda was the then chief minister and chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) when the plot was given to AJL in 2005.
The AJL is controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family.