The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula on Thursday granted bail to former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and senior Congress leader Moti Lal Vora in the land re-allotment case of Associated Journals Limited (AJL).
Their counsel, Abhishek Rana, confirmed that the two have been granted bail by CBI judge, Jagdeep Singh, on furnishing a bail bond of Rs five lakh each. The next hearing has been fixed for February 6.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on December 1, had charge-sheeted former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, senior Congress leader Motilal Vora and Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in a case pertaining to re-allotment of an institution plot in Panchkula, Haryana, under sections 120B and 420 of the IPC in the court of special Judge Jagdeep Singh.
According to the accusations, a plot of land in Panchkula was illegally re-allotted to AJL, which is controlled by senior members of the Gandhi family, including Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, through Young India Ltd.
The allegations state that the then Haryana CM BS Hooda utilised his position to re-allot the plot to AJL in 2005 at original rates plus interest. Allotment of the plot at the original rates caused a huge loss to state exchequer and illicit endowment to the company.
The CBI said plot C-17 in Sector 6, Panchkula, was allocated on August 24, 1982, for publication of a Hindi newspaper, Navjivan. In June 2005, the same plot was re-allotted to AJL.
The CBI, on the requests made by the Haryana government, Central government and the complaints received by the Vigilance Commission, had filed an FIR under section 409, 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, on April 6, 2017, against Hooda.
CBI booked Hooda for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and misuse of official position by public servants.
Hooda had, however, defended his decision saying that there was no wrongdoing in the re-allotment.
AJL, which also owns National Herald, is controlled by the Indian National Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi among others. Currently, the grand old party’s (Congress) supremos are facing several deadlocks pertaining to their involvement in the ‘National Herald case’.
National Herald scam is one of the most notable legal cases in Indian history, as the Gandhis are directly accused. The mother-son duo, along with their aides – Oscar Fernandez, Motilal Vohra and Sam Pitroda are alleged to have involved in massive ‘cheating and breach of trust’ in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL), as assets worth crores of rupees had been allegedly transferred for purposes other than originally intended for a paltry sum. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi got unconditional bail in December 2015.
From the Gandhi’s trying to oppose income tax investigation to Congress reportedly threatening tax officials to the eviction orders of the ‘Herald House’, the drama revolving around the Congress ceases to stop.