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Haryana panel to recommend action on Chautala trusts

Special Correspondent
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Suspended Opposition MLAs stage dharna and hold ‘parallel session' outside Vidhan Sabha complex

On the concluding day of the monsoon session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday, all 31 suspended Opposition MLAs, 30 of the Indian National Lok Dal and one of the Shiromani Akali Dal, sat on dharna outside the Vidhan Sabha complex here.

Led by Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, they conducted a “parallel session” and elected Mohammad Ilyas as “Speaker”.

Mr. Chautala alleged that the Speaker's decision to suspend them was a “conspiracy to keep the Opposition out of the House”. The “mock Assembly'' passed a resolution supporting Team Anna Hazare and the Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by them.

Meanwhile, Speaker Kuldeep Sharma constituted a House Committee headed by Congress MLA B. B. Batra to propose the action on the recommendation of the Central Bureau of Investigation to the State Government to take over the trusts/societies under the control of Mr. Chautala and his family.

BJP State president and MLA Krishan Pal Gujjar, Gian Chand Oadh, Aftab Ahmed, Anand Singh Dangi and Dharampal will be the other members of the six-member committee. It will submit its report within 45 days.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala informed the House on a query from Mr. Gujjar that the committee could give its recommendation on reverting the land gifted to various trusts/societies in contravention of the prescribed terms and conditions.

The CBI report recommending takeover of the control of the trusts/society was also tabled. Mr. Surjewala read out the report and said that the prime investigating agency had established that the Devi Lal Memorial Trust and the Devi Lal Memorial Society were the “the trusts of the Chautala family and were solely controlled by Chautala family in general and INLD MLA Abhay Singh Chautala in particular”.

He further read out from the report which gave details about the “assets of the Chautala clan and the lands gifted to these trusts in violation of rules”.

He told the House that a Delhi court had framed charges against the Chautala clan including sitting Dabwali MLA Ajay Singh Chautala under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Mr. Om Parkash Chautala and Mr. Ajay Singh Chautala had been recently charge-sheeted by the CBI in the “JBT Recruitment Scam”.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told the House that his government was conscious of its obligation to protect panchayat land from misuse.

The reply of the Chief Minister to the Calling Attention Notice given by Sampat Singh was read out by Mr. Surjewala.

Mr. Sampat Singh had stated that the land of many panchayats had been given to trusts and societies without charging any money or at nominal rates to charitable trusts and the panchayats had lost their source of income.

Rajiv Gandhi Trust

Mr. Hooda said that leasing of land to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust was in public interest and in accordance with the law of the land.

He added that the Government decided to lease the land to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust at the concessional rate of Rs.1,000 per acre per year in view of the nature of its charitable activities. However, the trust made a written request in November 2009 to Gram Panchayat Ullawas for charging the lease money as per the prescribed government rates without any concession or subsidy. On December 14, 2009, the Government accepted the request and amended the lease rate in accordance with the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation), 1961 and government rules.

The House also passed eight Bills including the Haryana Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Haryana Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Haryana Private Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Punjab Passengers and Good Taxation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2011, the Haryana Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2011 and the Haryana Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2011, the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences Rohtak (Amendment) Bill, 2011, and the Haryana School Teachers Selection Board Bill, 2011.

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