Haryana officials give clean chit to Vadra on land deals
Four Haryana bureaucrats have given Robert Vadra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law, a clean chit in land purchases over the last few years and said the deals were transparent.
Official sources here confirmed that the deputy commissioners (DCs) of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mewat and Palwal have said that there was no "wrong-doing" in the land purchases done by Vadra and his companies in their respective districts.
Senior Haryana cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Ashok Khemka had asked the DCs of the four districts Oct 12 to inquire into Vadra's land deals in their areas since 2005. They were also asked to see if the purchase of the land had been undervalued to evade stamp duty. Khemka, who was director-general, consolidation, then had sought the report by Oct 25.
Khemka was removed as the director general Oct 11 by the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government. Though the Hooda government tried to project it as a routine transfer, it was apparent that Khemka was shifted as he opened the probe against Vadra's land deals on Oct 8.
The sources said that Vadra had made the land purchases in a "transparent" manner and had paid the stamp duty as per the prevailing collector rate in each district.
"Vadra, in fact, in some cases paid much more stamp duty than the value under the collector rate," a revenue official said.
Khemka, when asked about the report from the DCs, said: "I had sought details from the DCs regarding the land deals and payment of stamp duty. I am no longer on that post and have nothing to say in this matter."
Khemka had on Oct 15 also cancelled the mutation of a Rs.58 crore prime land deal between Vadra's company, Sky Light Hospitality, and realty giant DLF.
Vadra and his companies had made land purchases in Gurgaon, Palwal, Mewat and Faridabad districts from 2005. The total land bought by Vadra in these districts was over 170 acres.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had come to power at the centre in 2004 while the Hooda government has been in Haryana since March 2005.