Panchkula land scam: ED files chargesheet against Bhupinder Hooda, 21 others
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda and 21 others in Panchkula land scam case. Those chargesheeted include four retired IAS officers.
The case involves allotment of 14 industrial plots worth ₹30 crore to the acquaintances of Hooda in 2013.
The ED had initiated investigation in 2015 based on an FIR by Haryana vigilance bureau. The FIR was subsequently transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2016, which registered the case under sections 120-B, 201, 204, 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The investigation revealed that Hooda, as ex-officio chairman of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the four retired IAS officers - then office-bearers of the authority - illegally favoured the pre-selected acquaintances.
The four retired officers are: Dharam Pal Singh Nagal (former chief administrator, HUDA), Surjit Singh (former administrator, HUDA), Subhash Chandra Kansal (former chief controller of finance, HUDA) and Narinder Kumar Solanki (former zonal administrator of HUDA's Faridabad Zone). They have been under money laundering charges along with Bharat Bhushan Taneja (former superintendent, HUDA), the ED said.
The investigation done by the agency has revealed that investigation that the price fixed for the subject allotment were kept 4-5 times below circle rate and 7-8 times market rate.
The agency also said that the criteria for allotment was altered 18 days after the last date of application in such a way to favour the pre-selected applicants by increasing the discretion at the hands of the interview committee.
The ED further said that the entire interview process was "vitiated and compromised".
All the 14 industrial plots were attached as per the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the ED in 2019.