CHANDIGARH: The list of beneficiaries in the Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) multiple plots scam, in which more than one land allotments were made under the discretionary quota to the same person, included a watchman of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal.
The watchman, Nar Bahadur Thapa, was allegedly given two plots in Faridabad and Gurgaon in March 1992 and April 1994 when Bhajan Lal was the chief minister of the state. Thapa was a loyal watchman at Bhajan Lal’s residence for several years and remained with the family till the former CM’s death.
These details were produced in an application before the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday by one of the accused in the scam along with a list of 20 “high and mighty” people who were excluded by Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) from the case. The list includes a retired high court judge, two brigadiers, son of a former Haryana minister, relatives of former CM Bhajan Lal and others. All were allotted plots during Bhajan Lal’s regime.
The applicant, Raghbir Singh, a resident of Jind district, was booked for grabbing more than one plot under government quota. He alleged that Huda and police were harassing those accused who were not connected to influential people while several people who got more than one plot were not booked as they were linked to VVIPs.
During the previous hearing on July 15, his counsel Harmanjit Singh Sethi had submitted a list of 50 people along with details of plot numbers, number of plots and urban estates where these VIPs were allotted more than one plot under the discretionary quota. The previous list included names of top bureaucrats of Haryana, retired high court judges, ministers, MPs and a former CM.
After reading the new list of names, Justice Daya Chaudhary asked Huda officials why the information regarding these new persons was not included in the status report submitted in the court and asked Huda to file its reply by September 9.
The matter had reached high court in 2013 after a serving Army colonel, who was booked for having multiple plots under defence quota, sought stay on his arrest. Finding a larger scam in the allotments, the high court asked the government to register FIRs against all those persons in the state who were allotted more than one plot under the reserved categories or discretionary quotas in various urban estates. Following the court order, around 400 persons have been booked till date.