Rajasthan for CBI probe into Vadra land deal

Jaipur, Aug 23 : With Assembly elections a year ahead, Rajasthan’s BJP government is keen on handing over the investigation into the acquisition and sale of 1,400 acres of land in Bikaner, which involves Robert Vadra’s name, to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The case names Skylight Hospitality — a firm linked to Vadra, who is Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.

The state home department said it was necessary to give the case to the CBI as its concerns the Army firing range at Mahajan on the India-Pakistan border and has ramifications for national security.

Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria has said he is going to take look into the Vadra file and take further action.

The Congress Party is obviously not happy. It says all this is being done with an eye on the upcoming elections.
State Congress Chief Sachin Pilot said that all people arrested are from the BJP. But since polls are close, the government tends to “misuse” the CBI, Income Tax and the Enforcement Department.

Vadra is already under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate. The agency had sent notices to the firm last year after raiding eight places.

The issue dates back to 2007, when 1,400 acres of land in Bikaner was illegally sold to private companies.

The land was meant to be given as compensation to farmers whose plots were acquired by the government to set up the firing range at Mahajan. But instead, it allegedly went to fictitious beneficiaries. Among the companies that bought land was Skylight Hospitality – the firm acquired 60 hectares in 2009, investigators said.

The revenue department stumbled on the matter in 2014 while investigating Robert Vadra’s land deals in Rajasthan. The department said its own officials were involved in the fraud. In 2014, the police registered 18 First Information Reports and arrested eight people.

Of the 18 FIRs, Skylight Hospitality has been named in four, though investigations conducted so far have not found any illegality.

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