We don’t leak reports, says Naidu on Vadra row

Chandigarh/New Delhi: The government today rejected the Congress’ allegation that the report of the Dhingra commission which probed alleged irregularities in grant of land licences to a firm owned by Robert Vadra was leaked.

“We don’t have the habit of leaking out… This government believes in transparency and does not interfere in the legal process. We don’t run after individuals,” Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also rubbished the vendetta charge against the government, saying, “We don’t want to target anyone and nor do we want to usher vendetta against anyone. This is a suggestion for action for Haryana government.”

He, however, alleged there was a common pattern in the land deals of Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi, and the only inference one can derive was that with the power Vadra exercised with the then government and speedy manner in which land usage was changed by bypassing norms, “was designed to allow a situation of windfall gains”.

Prasad said the transactions indicated a “new business model” and needed to be investigated.

He said in less than four years the price of land bought by Priyanaka rose by 5.5 times and that raised a lot of suspicion which was required to be dispelled. “This is something curious,” he said.

On vendetta charges, the law minister said, from day one attempts were made to “denigrate” the Dhingra Commisison.

“Mr Vadra lives under the impression that whatever he does in either Rajasthan or Haryana should not be monitored or investigated. He forgot that the India of 2014- 17 is not the India of 60s and 70s,” he said.

Naidu, on his part said, he does not have any information on the Dhingra panel report after a media report claimed that the probe had indicted Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, for making unlawful profit of Rs 50.5 crore from a land deal in Haryana in 2008 without spending a single paisa.

Hitting out at the Congress, he said, “They may be speaking of their own past experiences (of leaking reports).”

The minister said the government will take action based on the findings of the commission.

The S N Dhingra panel was set up in May 2015 by the BJP government in Haryana to look into the grant of licences over change in land use in four villages of Gurgaon, including the licence granted to Skylight Hospitality owned by Vadra.

The commission had submitted its 182-page report to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on August 31, 2016.

The lawyer of Robert Vadra and Skylight Hospitality has claimed they had committed no wrong and that no laws were violated.

Vadra’s wife Priyanka Gandhi had yesterday released a statement, saying her finances had nothing to do with those of her husband’s or his company Skylight Hospitality, which had made controversial land deals with realty major DLF.

The statement from Priyanka’s office came after a query was made to Vadra asking whether a portion of the money he had received from the DLF was used by his wife to buy properties in Faridabad in Haryana.

The contents of the Commission’s report are yet to be made public by the state government which had given an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana High Court not to release the report until directed by the court.