CHANDIGARH: Former Haryana minister and six-time Congress MLA Captain Ajay Yadav on Thursday accused BJP of ‘bribing’ Justice S N Dhingra to indict party chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in the Gurgaon land deal case. Dhingra heads the panel that was set up by the BJP government on May 14 last year to probe the grant of commercial licences to private firms, including Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality.
Yadav was referring to the BJP government sanctioning the construction of a road leading to a school being set up by a trust headed by Dhingra in a village in Gurgaon. The retired judge was expected to submit his report on Thursday as his tenure was ending. He has now asked for a six-week extension with some new documents having been found related to the deals.
In an email to CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Dhingra said he received the documents on Thursday and needed to examine them in detail. Congress, however, has demanded that the panel should be dismissed as it has lost its credibility.
The school in question is being built at Jauri Khurd where a villager had gifted 2,235 sq yards of land to the Justice Gopal Singh Public Charitable Trust in November last year. Congress alleged that after a representation from Dhingra, a former judge of the Delhi HC, to the Gurgaon deputy commissioner on December 8, 2015, Rs 95 lakh was sanctioned in March for the road. Half of the amount was released immediately, the party said. Congress raised the issue a day after the Dhingra commission informed the state government that it had completed its probe into land deals in Gurgaon struck under the previous regime. Dhingra had taken charge of the panel on June 8, 2015. Dhingra did not respond to text messages and calls on Thursday.
According to documents accessed , the ex-judge wrote a letter to the Gurgaon DC explaining how the new road would be beneficial to children under six. He mentioned in the letter that the trust had been donated the 2,235 sq yards plot with some construction by a generous villager, Harish Chakravarty, to start a school for the children of surrounding villages. The trust had proposed to start the school from academic year 2016. “The site is situated on existing kuccha raasta connecting Gurgaon-Pataudi Road through these rastas,” Dhingra had written to the DC requesting him to make these “revenue raastas with paver blocks”. Later, the Haryana rural development fund administration board approved the funds for the road. Now, Congress has demanded that Dhingra must recuse himself from the inquiry.
“Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. Dhingra has compromised his position by asking for and consequently accepting favour for Gopal Singh Charitable Trust headed by him,” said Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala. “Moot point is why a resident of a village in Gurgaon should suddenly decide to donate land to a trust based in Neeti Bagh, New Delhi, ignoring trusts that already exist and work in Haryana,” he questioned. Surjewala said Dhingra is not competent to submit any report impartially.