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Homebuyers upset over appointment of ‘tainted’ official as RERA chief

KK Khandelwal and Rajan Gupta, who were appointed chairpersons of RERA, are alleged to have been the key to giving a clean chit to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in connection with a land deal in Gurgaon

gurgaon Updated: Nov 27, 2017 23:11 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times
RERA,Rera Chariperson,Haryana
The Centre brought the RERA into force in a bid to streamline the realty sector(Parveen Kumar/HT FILE)

In a setback to the Haryana government, Gurgaon homebuyers have voiced deep concern over the appointment of KK Khandelwal as the chairperson of Real Estate Regulation and Development Authority (RERA) for Gurgaon and Faridabad on Saturday.

Rajan Gupta, another retired bureaucrat, was also appointed chairperson of RERA. Both officials are alleged to have been the key to giving a clean chit to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in connection with a land deal in Gurgaon.

HP Singh, a Gurgaon homebuyer, told Hindustan Times that he got a call from a close friend telling him about an uproar in the social media over the appointment of Khandelwal as the RERA chief. The social media storm followed a tweet by Ashok Khemka, a senior serving bureaucrat, on Monday, saying, “n officer who was member of committee that gave clean chit to Vadra DLF land licensing deal in 2012 is now rewarded with the lucrative post of the real estate regulator. What could be the secret mantra of their success? (sic)”. The post drew a flood of likes and retweets. His tweet shored up 10,000 likes and retweets by Monday evening.

“Whatever I have said in my tweet, is already in public domain I stand by it,” Khemka said.

The three-member committee, which had cleared the controversial land deal between Vadra’s company and the DLF, was formed to probe the issues raised by Khemka in the said land deals in 2012.

“With RERA now notified in Haryana, I expect some relief in terms of builders handing us possession of flats on time and ensuring that all other provisions and amenities are in place. In my case, the builder has been defaulting on his promise to deliver my flat on time and I had hoped for justice after the Centre brought RERA into force. However, the Haryana government has softened the RERA rules and worse, it has now picked an official with a dubious record to head the authority,” Singh said.

Read I Gurgaon homebuyers reject ‘pro-builder’ RERA in its present form

“We are aware of these tainted officials. Khemka has just spoken our mind and we thank him for bringing the truth into the public domain. Haryana government courted controversy from the day it notified RERA. It has diluted the rules and has made things worse by appointing officials not having a fair service record,” Prakhar Sahay, another homebuyer, said.

Despite repeated attempts by Hindustan Times, Khandelwal could not be reached for comments.

The tenure of RERA chairpersons would be for five years or till they attain the age of 65, whichever is earlier. A notification to this effect was issued by Arun Kumar Gupta, principal secretary, town and country planning department, on Saturday.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 23:11 IST