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HC dismisses Tayal’s plea

January 23, 2019 05:59 AM

COURTESY HT JAN 23

HC dismisses Tayal’s plea
CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday dismissed retired Haryana bureaucrat Murari Lal Tayal’s petition, seeking quashing of the cognisance order passed by the trial court against him in connection with infamous Manesar land acquisition scam.

Tayal along with former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others were named in the chargesheet filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Panchkula’s CBI court last year in which the agency claimed that their action caused wrongful loss of nearly ₹1,500 crore to land owners in four villages, including Manesar in Gurgaon, and then windfall gain to themselves and several real estate builders named in this case. Tayal, who was the principal secretary to the then CM Hooda during his first term between 2005 and 2009, has argued that as principal secretary he had no independent powers of his own. He has contended that he was only required to “assist” the CM in the disposal of the work. The CBI in its recent reply told the high court that the accused’s petition was merely an endeavour to delay the proceedings as he had conspired along with other accused in execution of this scam.

The case pertained to acquisition of 912 acre land for setting up an industrial model township in Gurgaon villages. According to the CBI, the farmers sold nearly 350 acres “at throwaway rates of ₹20 to 25 lakh per acre” to private entities under the threat of acquisition by the government at meagre rates. However, later in 2007, the state government dropped the acquisition proceedings after the land had been grabbed by a real estate firm. The high court orders came after the CBI told the court that Tayal could have declined to sign the order dated August 24, 2007, which was issued by him on behalf of the CM for abandoning the land acquisition process if he was not part of the conspiracy in the land scam.The CBI also said pursuant to registration of FIR in 2015, the agency also conducted searches at the residential and other premises of Tayal during which documents were recovered and another case was registered against him in 2017 for having acquired “disproportionate assets to the tune of ₹9.8 crore, which is under investigation.

 

 
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