Senior Congress leaders like former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram are going through tough times in connection with a raft of cases.
Senior Congress leaders like former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram are going through tough times in connection with a raft of cases. The CBI has registered a case against Hooda in connection with alleged irregularities in the land allotted to Associated Journals Limited in Panchkula. Yesterday Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court verdict refusing to quash a disproportionate assets case against him, and accused the NDA government of “political vendetta”. Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a status report in the apex court regarding violation of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) while stating the alleged role of P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case. These come even as Congress is seeking to revive its fortune to challenge BJP in upcoming MCD Elections and assembly elections in Gujarat and Karnataka and subsequently Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In its FIR, the CBI has alleged that AJL was allotted a plot in Panchkula in 1982 on which no construction took place till 1992. Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) then took back possession of the plot. It alleged that the same plot was re-allotted to AJL at original rates plus in 2005 by allegedly violating the laid down norms by the then Chairman, HUDA who was the then Chief Minister B S Hooda. Associated Journals limited is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders including the Gandhi family. The group runs National Herald.
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Meanwhile, Virbhadra Singh, in his plea, sought immediate stay of the high court order and claimed that with the change in government at the Centre, the stand of the CBI has also altered.
“It is pertinent to mention that the stand of the CBI has changed with the change in government against the petitioners and therefore, the case as set up by the CBI is nothing but political vendetta by the present government at the Centre,” he said.
He claimed that during the investigation, the CBI had also looked into the allegations made by advocate Prashant Bhushan through his letter to the agency and a petition before the Delhi High Court.
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The CBI has filed four status reports in the High Court of Delhi in sealed cover regarding the investigation being carried out relating to the petitioners, the plea said.
“The aforesaid reports were never opened by the court, till the time the writ petition filed by Prashant Bhushan was disposed of,” it said.
Singh alleged that he was not allowed to see the closure report of the first inquiry and when the order was reserved by the high court, the status report filed by the CBI was perused by the court, but the content of which is still unknown to him.
“The fourth status report, which has been prepared after the change in government at the Centre without submitting the closure report regarding the first preliminary enquiry, proposed to investigate the matter from the disproportionate assets perspective, which was already being investigated in the first preliminary enquiry,” he said.
The chief minister said that there was no new information to initiate a fresh investigation against him and his wife and subjecting them to double investigation on same information is impermissible under law.
He said that the high court has committed “grave error” in law by dismissing his petition seeking to quash the FIR against him and his wife.
“In the instant case, the high court committed grave error in law in dismissing the writ petition filed by him and others seeking quashing of the FIR dated September 23, 2015 under section 13(1)(e), 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with section 109 of IPC,” he said.
As for former FM Chidambaram, the apex court fixed the matter for further hearing on May 2.
(With agency inputs)