Gurugram land release probe: CBI submits chargesheet against 3 ex-TCP officials

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has submitted chargesheet against three former Haryana town and country planning (TCP) officials and two firms under the charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act in the Gurugram land release scam.

The officials are former chief town planner Jagbir Singh Redhu, former assistant town planner Satish Arora and former deputy superintendent Rajbir Singh, and firms Brahma City Private Limited through its director Amit Katyal and Commander Realtors.

In September, the CBI had sought sanction from the Haryana government to prosecute three former officials of the TCP department for their alleged role in facilitating grant of real estate development licences on land released from the acquisition process in Gurugram.

The CBI, which is investigating the case pertaining to release of about 95% of 1,407 acres under acquisition land in Gurugram during the Congress rule in 2009, had in January 2019 registered a case against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, an official and 15 real estate developers in the matter. The probe was ordered on directions of the Supreme Court.

The three TCP officials have been accused by the CBI of making “back references” to real estate developers who had submitted applications for grant of licences. The “back references”, sources said, allowed the developers to rectify the deficiencies in the applications.

The FIR also names Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others. However, no charges have so far been pressed against them. More chargesheets could be filed. The next date of hearing is January 18.

The case

The Congress government had in June 2009 issued a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act to acquire 1,407 acres for developing residential Sectors 58-63 and commercial Sectors 65-67 in Gurugram by HUDA.

While issuing the declaration under Section 6 on June 2, 2010, the total area was reduced to about 800 acres. Finally, the award dated May 29, 2012 was passed for 87 acres only.

The SC had said about 1,300 acres were released in the favour of private builders.

The CBI in its preliminary Inquiry had prima facie established irregularities in the release of land from acquisition process.

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