ED stated to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda had misused his official position and was responsible for losses of crores of rupees to the state exchequer.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday stated to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda had misused his official position and was responsible for losses of crores of rupees to the state exchequer. As per a report by Indian Express, the ED said Hooda re-allotted a prime plot to Congress-linked Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in 2005 – AJL is the official publishers of National Herald newspaper.
The affidavit filed by the ED Deputy Director Surender Kumar Kantiwal in the High Court states that investigation revealed that former Haryana CM re-allotted the plot which was a violation of the existing policy and legal position. The report further added that the affidavit was registered after a petition by AJL chairman and Congress leader Moti Lal Vora who sought a money laundering case to be quashed.
“The investigation has revealed that Sh Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the then CM, was desperate enough to extend favour to the petitioner (Vora). Therefore, despite the recommendations of the Chief Administrator HUDA and FCTCP that there was no merit in the case, the then CM Sh. Bhupinder Singh Hooda overruled the recommendations of Chief Administrator as well as FCTCP,” the report quoted ED stating in its affidavit.
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Financial Commissioner of the Town and Country Planning Department (FCTCP) had advised against re-allotment of the plot in Panchkula to AJL, Indian Express quoted an ED statemement. However, Hooda ‘in order to show favour to petitioner’ bypassed recommendations of both government departments, the agency said.
Indian Express further stated that the then government under CM Hooda had allowed re-allotment of a plot in Sector 6 of Panchkula to AJL for Rs 59 lakh including interest in 2005 which was denied by the state governments since 1992. The ED also stated “The re-allotment of the aforesaid plot was completed in 2014 as the allottee completed the construction after availing several extension granted by Sh. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the then CM. Therefore, the offense… continued till 2014.”
In 2016, the ED had filed an Enforcement Case Investigation Report under the PMLA in connection with the case after the Haryana Vigilance Bureau registered an FIR on charges of corruption and cheating against Hooda and other members of HUDA and AJL.