ED to take possession of AJL land in Panchkula

first_imgNew Delhi: The ED will soon take possession of a land worth Rs 64.93 crore in Panchkula, allotted to the Congress party promoted Associated Journals Limited (AJL) by the Haryana government in 2005, after a quasi-judicial authority under the anti-money laundering law recently approved its order, the agency said Wednesday.It alleged that the plot was illegally reallotted by former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda to AJL by “blatantly misusing his official position”. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThe central probe agency has issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on December 1 last year for attaching the plot located at C-17, Sector-6 in Panchkula. On the same day, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge sheet against Hooda and others for allegedly using fraudulent means to allot land to the AJL. The AJL is controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family. The group runs the National Herald newspaper. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations”…Since the value of plot fraudulently allotted to the AJL has represented proceeds of crime, the ED has attached plot under the PMLA Act,” the ED had said in a statement. Now, the ED said Wednesday, that the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA “has held that defendants have committed the schedule offence, generated proceeds of crime and further found that the properties attached are proceeds of crime beyond any doubt and thereby ordered for confirmation of the provisional attachments order”. With this approval, the ED is empowered to take possession of the land and erect its authority signage over the plot that disallows any trespass or activity by anybody over the asset. However, the plot can be finally transferred to the government exchequer once the trial in the case concludes in favour of the agency, officials said. The agency said the plot was allotted to AJL first in 1982. But the same was resumed back by the estate officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) by an order in October, 1992 as AJL did not comply with the conditions of allotment letter, it said. “However, Hooda blatantly misused his official position and dishonestly allotted the said plot afresh in the guise of reallotment to the AJL at original rates plus interest in violation of necessary conditions and policy of HUDA by an order of August 28, 2005 for Rs 59,39,200,” the ED charged. The actual value of the property is about Rs 64.93 crore, it said.last_img

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