CAG report haunts Vadra
Shady land deals are now returning to haunt Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. On Saturday, Vadra lost his cool when a reporter asked him to comment on these land deals.
New Delhi: Shady land deals are now returning to haunt Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. On Saturday, Vadra lost his cool when a reporter asked him to comment on these land deals.
The episode may reflect Vadra’s state of mind after the change of guard in Haryana and a CAG report stating that he made windfall gains worth nearly Rs 44 crore by selling land to realty major DLF when the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government was in power.
The CAG report has also questioned the Hooda government's decision to allow Vadra's Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. to develop a residential housing project despite knowing that the company had a capital of merely Rs one lakh in its account. CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s statement regarding the land deal will give no respite to Vadra.
“Law will take its own course,” Khattar told reporters.
As per the agreement between Vadra's company and Haryana government, Skylight was allowed to retain just Rs 2.15 crore as the profit from the deal, and had to pass the remaining amount (Rs 41.5 crore) to the government account. "…but in the instant case the firm earned a profit of Rs 43.66 crore by selling this licence to DLF but had not deposited the profit i.e. Rs 41.51 crore in the government account," the CAG report said.
The credit of unearthing the shady land deal between Vadra and DLF goes to senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka. In his report to the then state chief secretary, Khemka had said Skylight purchased 3.5 acres of land in Shikhopur in February 2008. As per the sale deed, Vadra had purchased the land from Onkareshwar Properties by issuing a cheque worth Rs 7.5 crore. Khemka had pointed out that the cheque was not encashed by Onkareshwar Properties for six months till Vadra sold the land to DLF.
"No money changed hands at the time of land registration," Khemka's report said.
The Haryana government on October 19, 2012 had set up a three-member probe panel to probe the charges that Khemka had raised in his report.
The panel, in its report last year, had termed Khemka's allegations as ‘inappropriate’. The Hooda government also accused the bureaucrat of going beyond his jurisdiction.
“We have not favoured anybody in this land deal .The stamp duty and the licence fees were charged as per the state government policy. We have nothing to do with private parties,” Hooda had claimed.
Interestingly, the former Haryana chief minister seems to have extended a helping hand to Vadra. Earlier, there were reports of two Onkareshwar directors having close links to Hooda. Mail Today has learnt that the previous directors had links with senior Congress politicians including Hooda. When Vadra purchased the 3.5 acre plot in Shikopur from Onkareshwar Properties in 2008, Kewal Singh Virk and Rajinder Bansal were the firm’s directors. A week after the deal, Satyanand and Godavari Yajee took over as the new directors.
Satyanand Yajee shares strong links with Hooda. The duo had formed All India Freedom Fighters’ Successors’ Organisation, a sister organisation of All India Freedom Fighters Organisation (AIFFO).