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HC stays trial against ex-Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, AJL in Panchkula plot allotment case | Chandigarh News


CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday has stayed the proceedings of the special CBI court Panchkula against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), in the Panchkula plot re-allotment case.
Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan of the HC has passed these orders after hearing of arguments on the petition filed by Hooda and AJL, seeking directions to quash the April16 order passed by special CBI judge Panchkula framing charges against them. Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and R S Cheema represented the petitioners in this case. The case has now been adjourned for August 12 for further hearing.
In April, the special CBI court had framed charges against Hooda and AJL, under sections of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act in the case.
All issues were raised before special judge, HC told
While challenging the framing of charges in the case, the counsel for Hooda submitted that regarding the allegation of favour to AJL in restoration of plot, in normal parlance, a restoration would presume the rehabilitation of status quo ante.
“It was always open to the authority to take a decision at which price it was to be restored… It was further highlighted that on May 14, 2005, the petitioner had also asked the senior functionaries of the authority to consider the possibility of allotment at current rate,” Hooda’s counsel had submitted.
HC was also informed that all the issues were raised before the special CBI judge Panchkula before framing of charges. “The judge refrained from application of mind by overlooking questions which were directly relevant at the stage of framing of charge… The special CBI judge proceeded on the assumption that a special judge presiding over a court constituted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, was to act as a post office at the stage of framing of charges and all the issues being postponed to the stage of trial…The judge has overlooked the open and transparent manner in which the petitioner examined the issue,” Hooda has submitted in his plea.
On December 1, 2018, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against Hooda, Moti Lal Vora and Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publisher of the National Herald newspaper, in this special CBI court for alleged illegal re-allotment of land to AJL in Panchkula in 2005. Vora had died recently.
As per the allegations, an industrial plot at Panchkula was illegally re-allotted to AJL, which is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders, including the Gandhi family, through Young India Ltd.





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