How did panel clear Robert Vadra-DLF land deal? Official notes ‘cannot be traced’, says govt

Chandigarh | December 19, 2014 10:58 AM

In June this year, Ashok Khemka had sought documents to ascertain how the official committee, which eventually gave a clean chit to Robert Vadra and DLF, was constituted.

A probe committee has cleared Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and realty developer DLF of any wrongdoing in a Gurgaon land deal.A probe committee has cleared Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and realty developer DLF of any wrongdoing in a Gurgaon land deal.

Two pages with notings on the previous Haryana government’s decision to constitute an official probe committee, which later cleared Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and realty developer DLF of any wrongdoing in a Gurgaon land deal “cannot be traced”, the state government has said.

Responding to a petition filed by IAS officer Ashok Khemka under the Right to Information Act, State Public Information Officer D R Wadhwa, in an affidavit before the State Information Commission on December 12, has stated: “The undersigned made many efforts to trace out page no. 1 and 2 of the noting of the official file, but could not trace the pages. Hence, the pages could not be provided to the appellant.”

In June this year, Khemka sought documents to ascertain how the official committee, which eventually gave a clean chit to Vadra, was constituted.

It was Khemka who cancelled the mutation of a land deal in Shikhopur, Gurgaon between Vadra’s M/s Skylight Hospitality and DLF Universal Ltd. The Haryana government — it was then a Congress government under Bhupinder Singh Hooda — constituted a three-member committee on October 19, 2012 to probe the matter. It comprised three IAS officers, Krishna Mohan, K K Jalan and Rajan Gupta.

Notings related to that decision were on the two pages which the state now says “cannot be traced”.

When his comments were sought on the missing pages, Chief Secretary P K Gupta said: “Ashok Khemka had sought certain information under the RTI Act. We had supplied him documents, but there were a few pages that were not traceable. The commission asked us to file an affidavit, which we have done now. As far as the missing documents are concerned, we are investigating it separately to ascertain if there was any malafide involved on anybody’s part.”

Of the three officials in the probe committee, Krishna Mohan has retired. While K K Jalan was not available for comment, Rajan Gupta said: “I do not have any information about documents going missing from the official file. The file is neither in my possession nor is it dealt by my office. It would be either with the Chief Secretary’s office or with the office of the Financial Commissioner (Revenue).”

Khemka, meanwhile, has appealed to the Chief Information Commissioner, Haryana and also complained to the Chief Secretary.

“The file noting is a very important piece of record which would establish that the three members were specifically appointed to an illegally constituted committee by the then political executive… with the pre-determined objective to accord clean chit to… M/s Skylight Hospitality, a company belonging to Mr Robert Vadra, and to discredit my action of cancelling the land mutation from M/s Skylight Hospitality to M/s DLF,” Khemka stated in his complaint to the Chief Secretary.

“The biased and one-sided report of the inquiry committee was an act of political vendetta and formed a spurious basis to wrongly chargesheet me for doing my duty. The noting sheets sought are likely to have been stolen by vested interests to avoid scrutiny of the wrongdoings of some officers…,” the complaint stated.

Khemka has demanded registration of an FIR against those who dealt with the file in the previous government.

– By Varinder Bhatia

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