Monday, May 23, 2022

ED Files Chargesheet Against Former Haryana CM Hooda, Others In Money Laundering Case

The central probe agency has filed a chargesheet against former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, four retired IAS officers and some others in a money laundering case

ED Files Chargesheet Against Former Haryana CM Hooda, Others In Money Laundering Case
Bhupinder Singh Hooda PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan

In a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of over a dozen industrial plots worth more than Rs 30 crore in the Panchkula area in 2013, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, four retired IAS officers and some others, informed officials. 

"Worthy applicants were driven out of merit and applicants who were closely connected to Hooda, in terms of his personal capacity and also in terms of the political party, he belongs to, were allotted these plots", claimed the central probe agency.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said the plots were allocated to "acquaintances of the then CM (Hooda)".

The Haryana Vigilance Bureau booked a case in 2015 to probe these alleged irregularities and subsequently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED filed their respective cases.

The agency has named Hooda, retired IAS officers Dharam Pal Singh Nagal (the then chief administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority or HUDA), Surjit Singh (the then administrator of HUDA), Subhash Chandra Kansal (former chief controller of finance, HUDA), Narinder Kumar Solanki (former zonal administrator, Faridabad zone of HUDA), besides Bharat Bhushan Taneja (the then superintendent, HUDA) and all the 14 allottees and beneficiaries of the industrial plots in the charge sheet or the prosecution complaint.

The complaint, the ED said, has been filed under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special court in Panchkula.

The agency said its probe found that as "a result of a criminal conspiracy, the then chief minister of Haryana and ex-officio chairman of HUDA (Hooda), the retired IAS officers and other office-bearers of HUDA in Panchkula illegally benefitted pre-selected acquaintances of the then state CM by allotting them 14 industrial plots and denying allotment to more worthy applicants".

The plots are located in Panchkula and the allocation took place in 2013.

The ED said it was found during its probe "that the price fixed for the subject allotment were kept four-five times below the circle rate and seven-eight times (higher than) the market rate".

"The criteria for allotment was altered 18 days after the last date of application and when all the applicant data was in the possession of HUDA.

"The criteria was altered in such a way to favour the pre-selected applicants by increasing the discretion at the hands of the interview committee. The entire interview process was vitiated and compromised as no formal record of marks allocation was kept," the ED alleged.

With PTI Inputs