'Irregularities' highlighted in land deal case involving Indian real estate tycoon Robert Vadra

Vadra had termed the inquiry commission as a 'political witch-hunt' launched against him by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. (Image courtesy: Facebook) Photograph:( Facebook )

Gurgaon, Haryana, India Aug 31, 2016, 12.25 PM (IST)
The one-man Justice SN Dhingra Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government of northern India's Haryana to probe controversial land deals in Gurgaon city, including those of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, today submitted its report.

Justice Dhingra, speaking about the 182-page report, told the media that there were indeed some irregularities in granting of licenses by the former Bhupinder Hooda-led government in the state, according to reports. 

The commission had submitted the report to the state government led by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. 

“I wouldn’t have written a 182-page report about nothing”, Dhingra said. During a presser, however, he refused to reveal anything further about the contents of the report, saying that he "cannot reveal the persons mentioned in his report or the roles that they played in the case", India.com reported. 

The commission has been probing the grant of licences for change in land use (CLU) in four villages of Gurgaon, including the licence granted to a real estate company (Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited ) owned by Vadra. The commission set up in May last year was asked to probe controversial land deals in Haryana, including the land deals of Vadra and his firms.

India's ruling party assures prompt action against defaulters 

"On the basis of evidences provided by him (justice S N Dhingra), further actions will be taken. Based on the report, it will be decided that whether investigation will be carried out or not. The law will take its course, if something will be highlighted in the report filled by justice Dhingra," BJP spokesperson Jawahar Yadav told ANI news agency earlier in the day. He assured that innocents will not be punished and action will be taken as per law.

When asked about the involvement of the Vadra in this case, Yadav said, "We can't say who the culprits are and who has committed the crime."

The commission had the mandate to probe the circumstances of the grant or rejection of the licences for the development of colonies, group housing societies and commercial complexes in those sectors of Gurgaon for which lands in the areas of Shikohpur, Sikanderpur, Badah and Kherki Dhaula were used. It has also probed whether the transfer of licence by the original licencee within a short period of time was in violation of the law and caused a loss of revenue to the state government.

The commission was asked to probe the grant of licenses to Vadra's company and other firms for developing commercial properties in Gurgaon's Sector 83 and some other prime areas.

According to media reports, Vadra had termed the inquiry commission as a "political witch-hunt" launched against him by the BJP government in Haryana.

Let the report come out: Vadra's lawyer 

Vadra and former Haryana chief minister as well as senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had been summoned by the commission, had reportedly refused to join the probe.

However, after the decision,  his lawyer claimed that Vadra had done no wrong and that neither he nor his representatives were ever summoned by the panel.

Vadra's lawyer Suman Khaitan said holding anything against him or his company without giving them a chance to be heard went against the principles of natural justice.

"If the government feels that my client is a bad man and they have a "jawai babu" report, why are they hiding the report. Let the report come out," he told reporters, daring the government to make it public.

Khaitan claimed his client's company made all payments "totally legally" and "never sought any favours from any government department whatsoever".

(WION with inputs from agencies)