Clean Chit to Vadra on Land Row
Robert Vadra was today given a clean chit by Haryana government in the controversial land deals involving him in the state after an official probe which concluded there was no "undervaluation" or loss of revenue to the government.
"The Deputy Commissioners of four districts of Haryana namely Gurgaon, Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat have inspected all documents registered in their respective districts from January 1, 2005 till date by or on behalf of Mr Robert Vadra or his companies in the capacity of either vendor or vendee and have certified that no deed has been found registered as undervalued," an official release said today.
The release detailed the lands registered by the son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and or his companies and said it was found that the "stamp duty paid, has also been found to be much higher than the collector's rate duly notified by the District Collector.
Therefore, no loss of revenue to the State has been caused by these sale deeds." Haryana is ruled by Congress.
The probe was ordered by whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka amid a huge row over his deals with realty major DLF.
Khemka as Director General Consolidation of Holdings and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration had a day after his transfer on October 12 and three days before he actually relinquished charge had asked DCs of Gurgaon, Palwal Faridabad and Mewat falling in NCR to "inspect all documents registered from 2005 on behalf of Vadra or his companies in the capacity of vendor (seller) and vendee (buyer)."
The state government after the controversy broke out had formed a three-member Committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) to probe the entire issue. The Committee is expected to submit its report within a month.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal, who had demanded probe into Vadra-DLF dealings, and opposition BJP were quick to slam Haryana government.
Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi, however, defended the report and asserted that the clean chit was not an "eywash".
"That was expected. Country would be surprised if it were otherwise," Kejriwal said.
Describing the clean chit as a "self-certification", BJP said there was no reason to believe in the probe findings.
Khemka said if a report is pointing that there was no undervaluation then it will increase the faith of the people in the government functioning.
The release said the DCs concerned carried out these inquiries in pursuance of the order of the Director General, Consolidation of Holdings and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration.
Khemka had also directed the DCs that in case of undervaluations, the matter be referred to the concerned Collector under section 47-A of the Indian Stamps Act for correct assessment of the Stamp Duty payable.
The release said that the Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, has informed that a detailed report was obtained from Tehsildar-cum-Sub Registrar, Manesar, regarding undervaluation of property registered between M/s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd and M/s DLF Universal and he stated in his report that the Sale Deed No 4928 dated February 12, 2008, for purchase of an area of 3.53 acres in Khasra No 730 of village Shikhopur has been evaluated at Rs 7.5 crore.
The collector rate for the land was Rs 50 lakh per acre for 2007-08. The total Stamp Duty for the 3.53 acres as per the circle rates/collector rates comes out to be Rs 10,50,300, whereas the purchaser has paid Rs 45 lakh for this sale deed as Stamp Duty which is way above collector rate/circle rate.
In subsequent transfer of the land vide sale deed No 1435 dated September 18, 2012 for Rs 58 crore, the stamp duty for the deed as per collector rate of Rs 1.55 crore per acre for 2012-13 should be Rs 25.97 lakh whereas he has paid stamp duty of Rs 2.90 crore, again higher than the collector rates. Hence, no loss of revenue of the state has been caused by these sale deeds, the release said.
Regarding registration of above mentioned sale deed without the sanction of Consolidation Officer, the Tehsildar-cum-Sub Registrar, Manesar stated that the Tehsildars have been conferred with the power of Consolidation Officers across the state vide a notification dated January 11, 2008.
Hence, Tehsildar is himself the Consolidation Officer and no separate permission is required in this regard, the release said in an apparent reference to objections of Khemka on this count.
A separate Consolidation Officer was posted in Gurgaon district on July 17, 2012, but was not empowered with the powers of the Consolidation Officers.
A notification in this regard was issued on August 14, 2012, but the clarification regarding powers of Consolidation Officer in the district was issued on October 1, 2012 from the office of the Director General, Consolidation, Haryana.
Hence, on date of registration of document that is September 18, 2012, Tehsildar-cum-Sub Registrar, Manesar was having powers of Consolidation Officer under Government of Haryana notification dated January 11, 2008.
In his report, the Gurgaon officers further clarified that at the time of sale deed dated September 18, 2012, the land was not for agriculture purpose as per licence issued. Change of Land Use has already been granted on the specific numbers and thus could not have been brought under the provision of consolidation and repartition.
Also, regarding sanctioning of mutation by Assistant Consolidation Officer, report was obtained from Consolidation Officer, Gurgaon.
He mentioned that Assistant Consolidation Officers, as per the land settlement manual/guiding directions at page No 7 of fourth edition published in 1989 under East Punjab Holding (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Rules, 1948 is authorised to sanction all the pending mutations as per the records before preparing the scheme of consolidation and update it accordingly.
The clarification regarding the powers of Assistant Consolidation Officer regarding sanctioning of the mutation has been issued on October 4, 2012 only and has been followed accordingly.
The Assistant Consolidation Officer, Gurgaon, over the period of almost 15 months after the issue of notification under section 14(1) has sanctioned about 150 mutations in the village Shikhopur along with this mutation.
Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad also reported that the enquiry got conducted by him through Sub Registrar, Faridabad/Ballabgarh and Joint Sub Registrar, Sohna, also revealed that the deeds in question were found to be registered in the office of Sub Registrar, Faridabad.
The release said that no deed in the name of the said companies or person were found registered in the office of Sub Registrar, Ballabgarh and Sub Registrar, Sohna, and no deficiency was found. Therefore, no loss of Stamp Duty or registration fee has been detected in district Faridabad on account of conveyance deeds, the release added.
He said that Deputy Commissioner, Mewat has also reported that the land measuring 229 kanal seven marlas purchased by Vadra as Director of M/s Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd at village Shakarpuri entire stamp duty and registration fee have been paid.
Similarly, Deputy Commissioner, Palwal has sought report from Sub Registrars, Palwal, Hodal and Hathin stating that all documents have been registered after paying stamp duty as per the prevailing circle rate and no financial loss has been suffered by the state.
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