Rajiv Gandhi Trust land case: CAG pulls up Haryana over Gurgaon allocation

Rajiv Gandhi

The row over the allotment of five acres in Gurgaon to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust is set to deepen with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) questioning the release of land and slamming the Haryana government for the "undue favour bestowed on the Trust".

It is learnt that the CAG report indicts the government for showing "undue haste" in granting CLU (change of land use) and land release order for gram panchayat land of Ullahwas village in Gurgaon district.

The CAG report, sources said, notes that a June 2009 notification to acquire 166.44 acre in Ullahwas included shamilat-deh measuring 5 acre and 3 marla of the gram panchayat — this had been earmarked for developing residential and commercial sectors in Gurgaon.

Once the notification was issued, the Trust asked the gram panchayat to lease the land for 33 years for an eye hospital. This was in July 2009. The gram panchayat passed a resolution to lease the notified land for 33 years. In December that year, the state government accepted the Trust request and a lease agreement was signed in January 2010.

The CAG report, sources said, noted that the Trust applied for CLU in October 2010 to start an eye hospital. Auditors noted that "a special favour was extended to the Trust" by issuing a notification in November to change rules relating to CLU.

It was decided that in case panchayat land is allowed to be transferred to a trust for opening a charitable institution, the lease period would be considered as ownership of land for the purpose of CLU.

Sources said auditors noted that even two years later, work on construction of the eye hospital had not begun.

The CAG report, sources said, noted that the gram panchayat, before leasing its land, had "not given proper publicity/advertisement before calling for applications" to ensure transparency in the bidding process.

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