Delhi govt freezes walled city land deal
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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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