Special Court grants bail to Ex- Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda, others in industrial plot allotment case

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On Monday the PMLA special court in Panchkula granted regular bail to former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and 20 others in the industrial plot allotment case.

During resumed hearing on Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) counsel provided relevant documents to defence counsel. Thereafter, defence counsel sought time for the scrutiny of documents and the court fixed April 27 as the next date of hearing.

ED last month had filed a prosecution complaint (PC) against Haryana’s leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and 20 others, in an alleged fraudulent industrial plot allotment, under the various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, before a special court in Panchkula.

Congress’s Hooda had allotted 14 industrial plots worth around Rs 30.3 crore in a prime area of Panchkula to 14 acquaintances in 2013, allegedly at rates four-five times below the circle rate and 7-8 times below the market rate. Prominent beneficiaries of the scheme included close members of the Hooda family, his MLAs/party workers and his personal staff in the chief minister’s office.

As per the PC, the criminal incident pertained to 2011-12 during the Congress government in the state. Hooda was the chairman of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

The plots were located in Industrial Area Phase-1 of Panchkula and ranged from 496 sqm offered at Rs 31.74 lakh, to 1,280 sqm offered at Rs 64 lakh. The investigating agencies had alleged that the market price was much higher at the time of allotment.

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