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Delhi govt freezes walled city land deal

Last Updated: Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 18:41

New Delhi: The Delhi government has frozen a
land deal between some alleged local mafia elements and a
Dubai-based company, claimed to have "questionable
antecedents", to set up a luxury hotel near the historic Jama
Masjid in the capital.

The government has also decided to order a high-level
probe into the Dubai-based hotel chain`s effort to acquire the
land in the sensitive Old Delhi area, allegedly with the help
of LJP MLA Sohaib Iqbal.

The deal, some part of which was done in Pakistan, was
frozen on the orders of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Tejendra
Khanna as the land in question "is an enemy property" which
belongs to the Central government," Delhi Revenue
Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said.

"We froze the entire deal after it was found that some
part of the required transactions were done by an attorney in
Pakistan which cannot be valid in India," he said.

An enemy property is one that has been vacated by a
person who moved to Pakistan during partition and is now under
the government`s hold.

Top officials said the government was also apprehensive
of the "questionable antecedents" of the hotel chain and was
in the process of ordering a probe in the entire issue.

"A thorough investigation will be carried out into the
issue and even the possible role of government officials in
trying to hand over the property to the Dubai-based hotel
chain would be ordered. We are looking at all possible links
in the land deal," Chauhan said.

Asked whether the government would go for a CBI inquiry,
Chauhan did not rule out the possibility.


First Published: Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 18:41

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