Chandigarh: Haryana’s Town and Country Planning head TC Gupta on Thursday defended the controversial land deal between Robert Vadra and the DLF group and demanded action against Ashok Khemka, the former Director General of Land Consolidation, for his baseless allegations in connection with the case.
Gupta today alleged that IAS officer Ashok Khemka’s order cancelling the mutation of Robert Vadra-DLF land deal contained "factual inaccuracies" and had been passed in "total disregard of administrative propriety".
In a strongly worded letter to state Chief Secretary PK Chaudhery yesterday, Gupta, Director General of Haryana`s Town and Country Planning Department, referred to "orders of Director General, Consolidation of Land Holdings & Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration issued on October 15.”
Gupta, a senior IAS officer, said the original copy of Khemka`s order has still not been received by his Department, "even though the same has found its way to all newspapers/ electronic media".
"In these orders, certain comments have unnecessarily been made against the working of this Department which are not only unfounded but totally uncalled for," he said.
"The orders contain factual inaccuracies, vitiated by legal infirmities and have been passed in total disregard of administrative propriety," Gupta said in the letter.
In the order, Khemka, who was transferred from his post of Director-General, Consolidation on October 11 and relinquished his charge on October 15 evening, had cancelled the mutation of the land sold by Vadra`s company to realty major DLF.
Khemka had observed that the Town and Country Planning Department should not have renewed the LOI/licence granted to the vendor when a major portion of the consideration money had already been paid to it by the DLF.
When contacted this morning, Khemka told reporters that he would like to "offer no comment" on Gupta`s letter. "A government order has been passed on the issue…if TC Gupta finds it wrong, he is free to go to court, " Khemka said adding, “Any party is free to go to court against my order if they feel it is unfounded…the government is the competent authority, let it decide on it."
Gupta claims that Khemka had no grounds for objecting, accusing him of ignorance about the transfer of property act. In his letter to the Chief Secretary of Haryana, Gupta said, "Khemka`s observations are not only uncalled for but either a product of a biased mind or an ignorant officer who does not know law or does not want to know the applicable laws for reasons best known to him."
"The officer (Khemka) is clearly not aware of the difference between licence and LOI. License is issued only after requirements mentioned in LOI are fulfilled and in this case, the licence was issued to (Vadra`s company) Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. In collaboration with DLF Universal Ltd. (erstwhile DLF Retail Developers Ltd.) vide Memo No. 12187-12201 dated 15.12.2008 which was valid till 14.12.2010,” Gupta wrote in his letter.
"LOI was not renewed but Licence dated 15.12.2008 was renewed strictly in provisions of the terms of the Act/Rules for another two years. This application for renewal was submitted by the licensee on 15.11.2010 along with renewal fees of Rs 72.93 lakhs well within time as per rules and after examining the application in accordance with Rules/prescribed procedure, the license was renewed vide Memo No. 645 dated 18.01.2011 which is now valid till 14.12.2012," Gupta said.
The Haryana government and the Congress have been under fire from the Opposition as well as India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal over the transfer of IAS officer Ashok Khemka. Khemka was transferred after he began a probe into the Vadra-DLF deal in Manesar. However, before leaving office, Khemka ordered the cancellation of mutation of land in the deal.
With PTI Inputs