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Manesar land deal: Khattar govt cleared IAS officer SS Dhillon

Govt stand on then town and country director could weaken CBI’s case in court.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2018 16:25 IST
Hitender Rao
Hitender Rao
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Manesar land deal,Khattar govt,Haryana govt
Documents accessed by Hindustan Times show the Central Bureau of Investigation had on November 20, 2017, sent a report to the Haryana government pertaining to the outcome of the investigation in the Manesar land release case.(HT File/Representative image )

The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, which recommended a CBI investigation into the Manesar land deal case, had cleared former IAS officer Sudeep Singh Dhillon of charges of abuse of official position and corruption.

Dhillon, who was the director, town and country planning, when the land was released by the state industries department in 2007 has been accused by the CBI in its chargesheet. However, the findings of the state government that a “case of abuse of official position by the officer has not been proved beyond doubt and no case of bribe, graft or illegal gratification has been made against him” could weaken the CBI’s case in the court.

What Khattar govt found
  • All properties of SS Dhillon are accounted for and have been intimated to the state government
  • The licences were granted only after the land was free from acquisition proceedings
  • His involvement in dropping the acquisition proceedings has not been proved
  • Case of abuse of official position has not been proved
  • No case of bribe, graft or illegal gratification has been made against him.

Documents accessed by Hindustan Times show the Central Bureau of Investigation had on November 20, 2017, sent a report to the Haryana government pertaining to the outcome of the investigation in the Manesar land release case. The investigating agency had simultaneously sought sanction from the state government to prosecute Dhillon.

On the basis of the facts stated in the CBI investigation report, the state government sought comments from the industries, town and country planning and home departments.

In its conclusion, the state government wrote that the CBI has not been able to conclusively bring out the adverse role of the officer in any decision regarding the acquisition process undertaken by the industries department. The allegations against the officer have not been proved beyond doubt, the government said.

HT Explainer | Manesar Land scam: Hooda, aides accused of misuse of acquisition Act

“The competent authority may consider declining the proposed sanction for prosecution of the officer and comments of the state government may be furnished to the department of personnel and training with a copy to the CBI,’’ wrote a deputy secretary-level official on December 23, 2017.

Chief secretary DS Dhesi also endorsed the December 23 noting and submitted it for the consideration of the chief minister on December 25. For reasons best known to the state government, the matter was delayed and the chief secretary’s office was asked to collate the conclusions drawn by the three departments.

In the meantime, Dhillon retired from service on December 31 and the state government was saved from the embarrassment of conveying their refusal for the proposed sanction to prosecute him. Dhesi’s comments were awaited till the filing of the report.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 16:25 IST