On Saturday, FIR was registered against former state Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda by the Haryana Vigilance department. He has been accused of involvement in the National Herald case.
As the then Chief Minister, he was also an ex-officio chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). He has been accused of illegally transferring land to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL). This authority was involved in publishing newspapers at Panchkula, in 2005. He has been charged with cheating and breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code and also criminal misconduct under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The original allotment of the land was made in 1982. Later, the land was reclaimed by the government in the year 1996 because AJL had not yet started the construction work on it. But, it was given back to AJL after Hooda approved of it in the year 2005, but at the rate of 1982.
BJP leader and now Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swamy has been accusing Congress President Sonia Gandhi and also Vice President Rahul Gandhi of cheating and playing with the funds as they just paid an amount of Rs. 50 lakh. It was because of this amount only that Young India obtained the rights to recover Rs. 90.25 crore which the AJL had to pay to the Congress. He also made a claim that assets worth Rs. 2,000 crore have been transferred to Young India. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi hold 76% of shares in Young India. And the rest 24% of the shares are with the rest accused.
Besides the Chairman, several other officers of HUDA have been booked under the FIR. They have been booked under the sections 409, 420, 120B of the IPC and also under section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Various others like that of state financial commissioner and the office bearers of AJL have been booked under this.
Hooda said, “I am yet to see the FIR and will be able to comment after I see it.” Meanwhile, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said the state government does not interfere with the vigilance department and hence one should not see it as a case of political vendetta.