HUDA plot scam: High Court seeks report on action taken
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed Haryana to submit a report on lists supplied by various complainants and petitioners to the Haryana government and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in the HUDA multiple plot and flat allotment scam.
The direction came from the single-judge bench of justice Daya Chaudhary during the resumed hearing as allegations of a “pick and choose policy” in taking action by the authorities into the probe flew thick and fast. The bench asked the state counsel whether there existed one law for ministers, retired judges, and other VIPs and another one for the common man.
“If you have the list (of all those found guilty), why every time new names are being given by the petitioners? Why these names are not there?” justice Chaudhary asked as a petitioner asked that there were allegations of multiple plots allotted to Ram Bilas Sharma, Haryana education minister, as well but his name did not figure on the list.
Initially, HUDA stated that it had completed the probe and filed the status report in the case of the reserved category. But later, it told the court that except 280 names, which were still being investigated, the report had been completed and the status report filed. As per that report of HUDA, 2,236 cases of multiple allotments had been detected so far and 300 FIRs filed.
The court later directed HUDA to file a report on action taken by it on various lists supplied by the petitioners and others during the course of the hearing and also asked the government to submit an actiontaken report on the list of multiple plot holders. The scrutiny of the lists is being done by HUDA and names are being forwarded to the government to take action.
COURT QUESTIONS GOVT STAND
In the plot allotment scam, the state government has taken the stand that the scope of the petition had been “unduly enlarged” and it should either be disposed of or sent to some other bench.
The high court hit back at the government, questioning its “conduct”. “The state is supposed to be like a state. Is that the conduct of a state?” the bench asked as the counsel for the state told the court that it was a bail matter and if required, the matter could be referred to some other bench for adjudication.
During the hearing, the court observed that the state government had failed to conduct the probe impartially and asked why the probe should not be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Later, the counsels were directed to come prepared on the next date of hearing as to why the probe should not be handed over to the CBI or any other independent agency. The chief administrator, HUDA, has also been summoned on the next date of hearing.
LIST SUPPLIED ON WEDNESDAY
In the fresh list supplied on Wednesday by advocate Harmanjit Singh Sethi, about 20 names have been given. The government has been asked to look into the alleged allotments to these persons.
The names include Dwarka Parsad, son of Manphool (nephew of former chief minister late Bhajan Lal); Ugar Sain, relative of Bhajan Lal; Nar Bahadur Thapa, son of a former employee with Bhajan Lal; Kulbir Singh, son of former minister Kartar Singh; Subhash Katyal, son of former minister Bihari Lal; Anil Kumar Sardana, (sessions) judge; justice SK Jain (retd); NK Jain (IPS officer); Brig RK Gulati; Brig BS Alhabadi; and Ramesh Pawar (Youth Congress leader).