HC reserves order on CBI probe into Vadra land deal

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday reserved its order on a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the licences granted to several real estate developers in Haryana, including one allegedly associated with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw, after brief arguments in the case, said “We will consider this issue.”

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The court was hearing the public interest litigation filed by advocate M.L. Sharma, saying several licences were issued to developers and builders for turning 21,366 acres of agricultural land into colonies without complying with the statutory rules.

The decision caused “serious financial loss of Rs.3.9 lakh crore” to the exchequer, the PIL said.

In the plea, Sharma contended that allocation of licences for developing colonies was contrary to provisions of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975.

It further sought quashing of the June 3, 2013 letter by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma allegedly rolling back the audit and inquiry into the grant of licence to Skylight Hospitality (Pvt) Ltd that is said to be associated with Vadra.

The plea contended that the inquiry was ordered by Shashi Kant Sharma’s predecessor Vinod Rai.

M.L. Sharma claimed that the department of town and country planning (DTCP) issued hundreds of licences for over 21,366 acres of land spread over Gurgaon and other parts of the state from 2005-2012.

“Issuing of colony licences by the DTCP in Haryana in the name of an individual who is not owner of a land is not only illegal but also clear case of corruption within the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

“To support or give undue favour is a corruption that has been hatched in the Haryana colony licence deal for Robert Vadra and others,” the plea said.

The PIL was filed against Skylight Hospitality, Robert Vadra and DLF Universal Limited among others.

The lawyer sought registration of criminal cases against Skylight Hospitality, Robert Vadra and DLF Universal Limited under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides, the petition sought a probe into the land deals entered into by Skylight Hospitality (Pvt) Ltd and its subsidiaries in Rajasthan.