Haryana's Hooda government facilitated Vadra-DLF land deals: CAG

The previous government in Haryana led by then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress had shown undue favours to Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, by facilitating a controversial land deal with realty giant DLF, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has stated in a report.

Robert VadraThe Hooda government quickly granted a change in land use (CLU) and other permissions for a 3.5 acre plot in Manesar in Gurgaon district, costing around Rs15 crore, thereby helping Vadra's Skylight Hospitality sell it to DLF in 2008 for Rs58 crore, according to the CAG report tabled in the Haryana assembly on Tuesday.

The change of land use and other permissions granted by the Hooda government was specifically intended to help the Vadra firm obtain a higher price for the piece of land, CAG has found.

The "possibility of extending undue benefit to particular applicant (Vadra's firm) cannot be ruled out," the CAG report stated. It has also questioned the "distinction" made by the Hooda government for Vadra's company in giving permissions.

Vadra had bought land in four districts of Gurgaon, Palwal, Faridabad and Mewat in Haryana adjoining Delhi in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Hooda government, on its part, obliged Vadra with quick sanction of the required change of land use permissions

Senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka had ordered the scrapping of the land deal, saying that it was illegal and that it had caused loss of crores of rupees to the state government.

Khemka also initiated a probe into all land deals of Vadra and his companies since 2005. But the Hooda government gave Vadra a clean chit and instead charged Khemka for hostile actions.