Plea for CBI probe against Vadra dismissed

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File photo; Shanker Chakravarty  

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a public interest litigation petition from an advocate that sought a CBI probe into the licences the Haryana government had granted to real-estate developers, including the company with which Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, was associated.

A Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and Ranjan Gogoi allowed Manohar Lal Sharma to withdraw his petition, saying: “We will not allow you to destroy the name of one person [Mr. Robert Vadra].

Justice Dattu told counsel, “Merely because they are related to a politician, you cannot call them sinners. You have not alleged anything against others, while the names of other persons who were also granted licences were not mentioned in the petition. Why have you targeted only one person?”

Appreciating Mr. Sharma’s work in respect of various issues, the Bench said he should focus on doing good work, instead of resorting to cheap publicity. “You should channelise you energy for people in need, instead of cheap publicity,” Justice Dattu said.

Mr. Sharma submitted that he was not targeting anyone but was only pointing out that Mr. Vadra was allegedly involved in one of the cases.

In his petition, Mr. Sharma said Mr. Vadra was associated with Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. Haryana’s Department of Town and Country Planning had issued hundreds of licences for more than 21,000 acres spread over Gurgaon and other parts of the State from 2005 to 2012. Following complaints, then Comptroller and Auditor- General Vinod Rai started an audit of the licences given to private developers by the State in the past five years. This was also in the backdrop of Mr. Vadra’s controversial land deals with DLF, exposed by Ashok Khemka, Director-General, Town and Country Planning. Since this audit was stopped, he sought a CBI probe.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 3:51:37 PM |

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