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Delhi govt refers CBI/ED enquiry into role of chief secy in alleged Rs 850 crore scam in Dwarka Expressway land acquisition

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The Aam Aadmi Patry (AAP) government in has gone all out against the chief secretary Naresh Kumar in the case of alleged Rs 850 crore scam in the land acquisition for the Expressway. It has referred the matter to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) saying that incriminating evidences are there to book chief secretary on corruption charges.vigilance

The vigilance minister Atishi has submitted a 650+ pages of preliminary investigation report to Delhi who recommended removal of chief secretary Naresh Kumar alleging that he (Kumar) played an instrumental role in benefitting the company linked to his son, Karan Chauhan, with “illicit profit” of Rs 850 crore.

What is the alleged ‘land compensation scam'

The land compensation scam pertains to astronomical compensation awarded against land acquisition at Bamnoli village for the construction of Dwarka Expressway.

In the same case, the union ministry of home affairs has suspended 2013 batch IAS Hemant Kumar and sought CBI probe against him for alleged irregularities in awarding compensation for land acquisition in southwest Delhi's Bamnoli village.

As per the complaint, two land owners received astronomical compensation against acquisition of their land as compared to others.

It is believed that the two landowners – Subhash Chand Kathuria and Vinod Kathuria – are family members of a business aide of the chief secretary's son Karan Chauhan.

The alleged link of chief secy's son

Naresh Kumar's son Karan Chouhan is strategic advisor in Anant Raj Limited, a company owned Aman Sarin, who is son-in-law of Subhash Chand Kathuria – one of the beneficiaries of land acquisition deal.

Chouhan has been deeply associated with Sarin as many business entities of Chouhan match addresses and email ids of Sarin's business entities. These facts establish that Chouhan is not merely as employee of Sarin but more like a business partner.

What is the row?

The land acquisition for the NHAI's Dwarka Expressway started way back in 2017. As per the land acquisition rules, Subash Chand Lathuria and Vinod Kumar Kathuria were paid a compensation of Rs. 41.52 crores for 19-acres of land at the rate of Rs 53 per acre. However, both of them challenged the compensation amount. After that the government appointed an arbitrator to settle the dispute.

But questioning the impartiality of the central government appointed arbitrator, the duo approached the Delhi High Court in 2019 but to no avail.

Later in 2019, District Magistrate Southwest Delhi was asked to act as the arbitrator but the compensation amount remained till June 2022 when Hemant Kumar joined as district magistrate.

Meanwhile Naresh Kumar had also become chief secretary in April 2022. Within next one year, Hemant Kumar decided to increase the compensation from Rs 41.52 crores to Rs 353.7 crores during arbitration.

What Chief Secretary says

The chief secretary had also said, “The Government of India has already referred this case of passing awards by arbitrator Hemant Kumar to the CBI …is all this being done to save Hemant Kumar by his political bosses and other vested interests? Are they fearful that Hemant Kumar will spill the beans before the CBI? Let the CBI/ED also investigate such conspiracy being done by vested interests, including public authorities, to malign the Chief Secretary…let the CBI call Atishi who has all the documents and has done an alleged preliminary enquiry, so that the role of all conspirators can be brought out”.
He had also questioned chief minister and revenue minister as to what they were doing since 2015.

“On what basis are such allegations being made? If the landowners had purchased the land in 2015 at just 7% of the market rate, what was done by the Chief Minister, Revenue Minister, Vigilance Minister and officers concerned since 2015? Whether there were any interests of these persons in such alleged undervalued sale/purchase?” he had said.

Vivek Shukla
Vivek Shuklahttps://www.thebuckstopper.com/
Vivek Shukla is a management graduate who has worked in corporate worked for 20 years and is now pursuing his passion — news.
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