ED attaches Panchkula plot ‘illegally’ reallotted to AJL

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate has attached a Panchkula plot that had been “illegally” reallotted to the Associated Journals Limited, allegedly in conspiracy with the then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others.“The AJL projected the plot as an untainted property and further got loans from bank by mortgaging the same from time to time. The plot’s market rate is currently about ₹35 crore,” said an agency official.The ED’s money laundering probe is based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s case alleging irregularities in the reallotment of the plot in October 2005 when Mr. Hooda, being the Chief Minister, was chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority.“There is no provision of reallotment if it gets cancelled. Process for fresh allotment should have been initiated as advised by the then legal authorities,” said the official. The attachment has been made days after the CBI filed a chargesheet against Mr. Hooda, the company and its then chairman, Motilal Vora, in its case. As alleged, the plot was first allotted to AJL in 1982 for publishing Hindi daily Nav-Jivan. However, the agencies allege, the company did not comply with the conditions of allotment, following which it was cancelled in 1992. “Thereafter, AJL tried to get the plot restored during the tenure of Bansi Lal as the then Chief Minister of Haryana. The request was declined by him,” said the agency.Shortly after Mr. Hooda became the Chief Minister, in April 2005, Mr. Vora requested for the reallotment of the plot.It is alleged that Mr. Hooda got the plot reallotted to AJL going against an adverse legal opinion and recommendation by the then HUDA officials.last_img

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