The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is looking into the assets of at least three Haryana IAS officers to find out whether real estate players were favoured in the Manesar land release case.
The CBI, which is probing the Manesar land release effected under the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in the state, has sought the immoveable property records of the three IAS officers.
Last month, the enforcement directorate (ED) had conducted raids at premises of several serving and retired officers after registering a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the same matter.
Though the property records of IAS officers are in public domain, the central agency has written to Haryana chief secretary DS Dhesi, seeking records in an official manner. The CBI has also sought a set of documents from the industries department pertaining to the release of the land.
"The CBI is seeking to find out whether there was a quid pro quo. Two officials who held key positions during the reign of the Congress government had entered into real estate deals with a realtor, Aditya Buildwell Pvt Ltd, who was granted colonisation licences after the land was released from acquisition. The realty bought by the officers was way below the prevalent price, thus raising a suspicion,'' said an official privy to the CBI investigations.
The agency had in 2015 registered a case against builders and Haryana officials for their alleged role in the fraudulent purchase of 400 acres, worth Rs 1,600 crore (as per then market rates) from gullible farmers of Manesar in Gurgaon district for a mere Rs 100 crore. The case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The purchases allegedly occurred under the threat of acquisition by the state government between August 27, 2004 and August 24, 2007, as part of an upcoming project to acquire 912 acres for setting up an Industrial Model Township (IMT) across Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula villages.
The land, which was once being acquired for creating residential and recreational utilities in IMT, Manesar, was released from acquisition by the previous Congress government.
The 912 acres were sought to be acquired by the state government and notifications under Sections 4 (preliminary notification) and 6 (declaration that land is required for public purpose) of the Land Acquisition Act were issued on August 27, 2004 and August 25, 2005, respectively.
It was contended that the subsequent decision to drop proceedings after having issued notices under Section 9 (sending notices to persons that the government intends to take possession of the land and claims of compensation be made to collector) compelled petitioners to sell their land at throwaway prices under the threat of acquisition. (hindustantimes.com)