Sonia Gandhi‘s son-in-law and real estate tycoon Robert Vadra on Monday accused the BJP government in Haryana of deliberately not replying to queries from the Principal Accountant General, Haryana in order to ensure that the state auditor’s report indicted Vadra and his company Skylight.
According to a report in Business Standard, Vadra’s lawyers have claimed that the Haryana principal accountant general (PAG) report tabled in the state Assembly this week was an ex-parte one and that the “BJP government of Haryana refused to reply to multiple notices/letters written by PAG purely for politically motivated reasons.”
“This fact has also been admitted by Additional Chief Secretary, Town & Country Planning, Haryana on 25 March who stated that Government of Haryana has now prepared a reply, which it will be submitting to PAG. Once an ex-parte report of PAG is already submitted to Legislature, filing of a reply to the objections raised by PAG by State government is itself meaningless and reflective of patent malafides and mal-intention on its part,” according to the letter.
Vadra’s lawyers further reiterated that the former did not seek or receive any undue favours from the then Congress government in Haryana.
Even the Congress accused the current BJP regime in Haryana of “patent mala fide” in the matter.
“First, PAG has neither indicted the previous Congress government nor Shri Robert Vadra or Skylight Hospitality Private Limited for any violation of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975 or any rules or policy. There is no such finding of wrongdoing as is being sought to be alleged and projected unfairly. Secondly, condition qua deposit of profit beyond 15 per cent applies only to ‘completed projects’…Hence, no law, rule or policy was violated by previous Congress government,” the Congress statement read.
Earlier this week, CAG held that the previous Congress regime in Haryana showed undue favours to Robert Vadra in a land deal with reality giant DLF. The CAG report concluded that Vadra’s firm made major profits on the sale of a plot of land to DLF after he obtained the change of land use for the same. The report alleged that Vadra’s company, Skylight Hospitality, sold 3.5 acres of prime land in Manesar in Gurgaon district to DLF in 2008 for Rs 58 crore. The land had, however, only cost his company around Rs 15 crore. It was sold to DLF after obtaining change of land use (CLU) and other permissions from the former Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
However, the “PAG report has neither indicted the previous government of Haryana nor Skylight Hospitality or Robert Vadra for any violation of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, or any other rule or policy,” Vadra’s lawyers are quoted as saying in the Business Standard.
But the Comptroller and Auditor General report, tabled in the Haryana assembly on Tuesday, said that the “possibility of extending undue benefit to particular applicant (Vadra’s company) cannot be ruled out”. It has also questioned the “distinction” made by the Hooda government for Vadra’s company in giving permissions.
The Hooda government, on its part, had obliged Vadra with quick sanction of the permissions required.
Senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka had ordered the scrapping of the land deal, saying that it was illegal.
The controversy became a national issue with opposition parties alleging that the then Congress government was doing everything to help Vadra in his controversial land deals in the National Capital Region (NCR)and areas around Delhi.
Vadra had bought land in four districts of Gurgaon, Palwal, Faridabad and Mewat in Haryana adjoining Delhi.
Alleging that Vadra’s land deals caused loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer, Khemka marked a probe into all land deals of Vadra and his companies since 2005. But the Hooda government gave Vadra a clean chit and instead charge sheeted Khemka for his actions.
With inputs from agencies