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ED files chargesheet in multi-crore plot allotment scam against Bhupinder Hooda

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Chandigarh, Feb 16, 2021-
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet in a special court in Panchkula in connection with the multi-crore industrial plot allotment scam in which former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, his relatives and others have been named, an official said on Tuesday.

In 2016, the CBI had filed a case against Hooda and others in connection with the allotment of 14 industrial plots during the Congress rule in the state.

All the 14 industrial plots were attached by the ED in 2019 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Others named in the chargesheet include D.P.S. Nagal (retired IAS), the then Haryana Development Authority (HUDA) chief administrator; S.C. Kansal, chief financial controller; and B.B. Taneja, deputy superintendent.

The beneficiaries booked in the case are Renu Hooda, widow of the former CM’s nephew; Pardeep Kumar, Mona Beri, Nandita Hooda, Manjot Kaur, Ganesh Dutt Ratan, Aman Gupta, Lt. Col. O.P. Dahiya (retd), Dagar Katyal, Siddharth Bharadwaj, Kanwar Preet Singh Sandhu, Raman Kansal and Ashok Verma.

The CBI, which took over the case after a recommendation by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to the Centre, said that 14 industrial plots in Panchkula were illegally allotted to private persons, mostly relatives of Hooda and officials of HUDA, thereby causing a loss to the exchequer.

The agency has taken into custody the record of an inquiry earlier conducted by the Haryana state Vigilance Bureau.

The ED had started its investigation in 2015 based on the case registered by the Vigilance Bureau.

The allotments were made by HUDA in July 2013 and approved by the former CM as its chairman on the recommendation of a standing committee.

The prices of plots given to Hooda’s kin were alleged to be much lower than the market rate and HUDA didn’t constitute the mandatory committee to decide the beneficiaries.

The plots are located in Industrial Area, Phase-1, Panchkula, near here, and are in two sizes: 1,000 sq mt costing Rs 64 lakh and 496 sq mt at Rs 31.74 lakh. The market price of a 1,000 sq mt plot in the area at that time was around Rs 6 crore, said officials. (Agency)

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