A judicial commission probing corruption charges against the Narendra Modi government has given a "clean chit" to it in nine land allotment cases, an official spokesperson said today.
The one-man commission of Justice M B Shah has submitted its interim report which has found no illegality in land allotments, state spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said.
"The commission has submitted an interim report on its findings and concluded that the state government has adhered to proper procedures of land allotment and no illegality has been committed," said
Vyas, who is also a minister.
The report was today placed before the Cabinet which met under chairmanship of Modi and comes on a day when the Election Commission announced Assembly poll dates in Gujarat.
"The report says the government had followed proper procedures and pricing of land while making allotments to industrial houses. The entire procedure was done appropriately," Vyas maintained.
The inquiry panel was asked to probe 15 allegations of corruption and on nine points (related to land), the Modi government has been given "clean chit", he claimed.
The commission under Justice Shah, a retired Supreme Court judge, was set up on August 16, 2011 by the BJP government to probe allegations of corruption levelled against it by the Congress. Among other charges, the Opposition party had accused the Modi government of showing favouritism toward certain industrial houses in land allotments.
Under its terms of reference, the panel was also to study and compare with other states the manner in which land had been allocated to industries, analyse sales and commercial taxes, stamp duty and all tax concessions and difference of taxes vis-a-vis those states with Gujarat.
The Commission was initially slated to submit its report by March. But the government extended its term for further six months till September.
"As the inquiry into the remaining six points are still pending, the government will short decide on giving further extension to the commission," Vyas said.
The Congress had vociferously raised the issue of corruption in BJP-ruled Gujarat. In June 2011, it submitted a comprehensive memorandum to then President Pratibha Patil accusing the Modi government of indulging in corruption and showing undue favours to select industrial houses.
Following this, the BJP government announced setting up a Commission of Inquiry to probe Congress' allegations.
"We are totally disappointed by conclusions drawn by the Commission as during the probe it had not examined any witnesses or evidences which we tried to put before it," said Gautam
Thakar, who has deposed before the panel on behalf of Gujarat chapter of People's Union of Civil Liberties
The nine points on which the Commission has concluded the probe and submitted its recommendations to the government included the alleged Rs 33,000-crore concession given to the Tata's Nano car project for relocation from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat and the land allotted to Adani industrial house for its Mundra Port and Mundra
It also included the allotment of prime land of Navsari Agricultural University to Chhatrala Group of Hotels for constructing a five-star hotel, alleged illegal allotment of Coastal Regulation Zone and Forest land and permission for construction given to Essar Group.
The panel probed the allegation that huge tract of land has been allotted to a company, said to be linked to BJP leader Venkaiah
Naidu, to set up a salt chemicals facility in Kutch district near Pakistan border.
Other allegations which the Commission found baseless related to allotment of prime land to Bharat Hotels Ltd near Gandhinagar and to L&T at throwaway prices.
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