Date: 19 Oct 2012


Today's Paper THE HINDU \\\\\\\ NEW DELHI, October 16, 2012 \\\\\\\ SENIOR OFFICIAL PROBING VADRA-DLF LAND DEAL SHUNTED OUT\\\\\\\\\ National Bureau \\\\\\\\\\ Robert Vadra Hours after Haryana’s top land records officer starts probe into Vadra’s dealings, he is transferred \\\\ A top official in the Haryana government’s land registration department was transferred hours after he initiated a probe into all the land dealings of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in four districts of the State neighbouring Delhi, The Hindu can disclose. \\\\\\ The transfer order came on October 11, 2012 — even as the country was still digesting the allegations made by India Against Corruption of a nexus between Mr. Vadra and real estate giant DLF — and strongly suggests that the dealings between the two were not just “transactions between private individuals” but may have involved the cooperation and even collusion of politicians and bureaucrats. Haryana has been ruled by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress since 2004.\\\\\\\\ The transferred officer, Ashok Khemka, has protested his eviction from the post of Haryana’s Director-General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector-General of Registration in writing, alleging mala fide. Though he had no option but to accept the marching orders, Mr. Khemka issued an order on his last day in office on October 15 cancelling the mutation of a 3.531-acre plot of land in Manesar-Shikohpur that Mr. Vadra had SOLD TO DLF FOR RS 58 CRORES (capitals mine,js) \\\\\\\\\\\ Three days earlier, pursuant to the probe he had already initiated, Mr. Khemka issued a letter formally ordering an inquiry across four districts into the “alleged under-valuation of some properties registered by Shri Robert Vadra or his companies as vendor or vendee.” His letter took note of IAC’s allegations and reports in the media.\\\\\ Based on the preliminary details uncovered by the inquiry in the case of at least one of those properties, Mr. Khemka cancelled the mutation of the 3.531- acre plot that Mr. Vadra’s company, M/s Sky Light Hospitality, had sold to DLF Universal Ltd on September 18, 2012. He did so on the grounds that the mutation violated the States Consolidation Act and was done not by a revenue officer but by the Assistant Consolidation Officer of Gurgaon who was not authorised to do so. (EA4/2012/4620-4621 dated 15 October, 2012)\\\\\\\\ The inquiry also points out that the action of the sub-registrar, Manesar, in registering the property was “not proper” because the estate of Shikohpur was notified for consolidation in August 2011 and as such transfer/sale of property during the pendency of consolidation proceedings without the sanction of the Consolidation Officer is prohibited. He also found that the permission given to Mr. Vadra on April 3, 2012 by Haryana’s Town and Country Planning Department to sell the property violated the same provision of the Consolidation Act. \\\\\\\\\\\\ A careful perusal of the timeline of the purchase and sale of this property also raises questions about the exact nature of the deal Mr. Vadra had struck with DLF. The sale deed of this land shows that it was BOUGHT BY SKY LIGHT HOSPITALITY FOR RS 7.5 CRORES ON FEBRUARY 12,20085 (capitals mine,js), and mutated in its favour the very next day. A little more than a month later, on March 28, 2008, the Town and Country Planning Department issued Mr. Vadra’s company a licence to develop 2.701 acres of the land into a housing colony. This licence was subsequently renewed on January 18, 2011, according to the enquiry report accessed by The Hindu .\\\\\\\\\\\ But though the SALE DEED FOR THIS LAND FOR 58 CRORE TO DLF WAS REGISTERED ON SEPTEMBER 18? 2012 ( capitals mine, js), the enquiry found that Mr. Vadra had “entered into an agreement to sell within 65 days of the issue of the first licence.” By October 2009, he had received Rs. 50 crore out of the total sale… (continued) =================================== 000000000