The special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued a notice to former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and senior Congress leader Moti Lal Vora for joining proceedings through video conferencing in the Associated Journal Limited (AJL) plot allotment case.
In the order, special judge, CBI, Jagdeep Singh said, “Since the case involves legislators and proceedings in such cases are to be conducted expeditiously, so, notices be issued to the accused as well as their counsel to explore the possibility of conducting further proceedings through video-conferencing, if the physical hearing of the matters does not get fully functional till the adjourned date.”
The order further said : “In case physical hearing of the matters is made mandatory in the meanwhile, then all the accused shall be present on the adjourned date. It is made clear that effective hearing is to be started in such matters and accordingly all parties are directed to ensure participation in the proceedings of the matter either through physical mode or through virtual mode.”
The issue is about an institutional plot number C-17 in Sector 6, Panchkula. It was allotted by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to the AJL in 1982, but because the construction was not carried out in 10 years, so it was taken back in 1992. In 1995 and in 1996, appeal and revision were filed by the AJL against resumption of plot but these were also dismissed by HUDA administrator and Haryana’s financial commissioner, town and country planning. However, when Hooda became the chief minister in 2005, he allowed re-allotment of the plot to the AJL.
The ED had said that Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the then CM and HUDA chairman, “blatantly misused his official position and dishonestly allotted the said plot afresh in the guise of re-allotment to the AJL at original rates plus interest in violation of the rules, causing loss to HUDA and wrongful gain to AJL”.
In December 2018, the CBI filed chargesheet against Hooda, Vora and Associated Journals Limited (AJL), publisher of the National Herald newspaper.
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