Manesar Land case: Court orders framing of charges against Hooda
The special CBI court here has ordered framing of charges against former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and 32 other accused charged by the federal agency in 2018 in the Rs1,500 crore Manesar land case.
The court of Jagdeep Singh, special judge, CBI also issued summons to five additional accused including Rajiv Arora, additional chief secretary, home, and health and family welfare, Haryana, who was at the time of the land fraud managing director, Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) . The others summoned are former chief town planner, HSIIDC, Surjit Singh; former chief town planner of town and country planning department, Dhare Singh; the then deputy superintendent, town and country planning, Kulwant Singh Lamba; and the then director, industries DR Dhingra.
Interestingly, most of these accused were originally prosecution witness. The court observed that there is prima facie evidence against them under Prevention of Corruption Act, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
The next hearing is on December 17. Meanwhile, the CBI has been directed to take sanction for prosecution from government, if any of the additional accused is working.
The case dates back to 2004. The Haryana government issued a notification to acquire 912 acres and seven marlas of land under section 4 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, on August 27, 2004 in Manesar, Lakhnaula and Naurangpur villages. 1 marla is roughly 272 sq ft/ 30 square yards . Worried that this would reduce the value of their land, owners sold at throwaway rates, resulting in wrongful loss of Rs 1500 crore.
On August 24, 2007 , the director industries passed another order releasing the land in violation of government policy, in favour of the people who had bought the land, instead of the original landowners, claims CBI.
In 2018, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against 34 accused including Hooda. When contacted by HT, Hooda said, “It is a part of the process. I have got full faith in judiciary. As far as this case is concerned, it is politically motivated.”
Rajiv Arora didn’t respond to HT’s calls and messages.