At a press conference held this afternoon, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad released a video and a booklet titled “Damad Shree” (Mr Son-in-law) that question Robert Vadra’s rags-to-riches story. सिर्फ़ News reproduces the content of the BJP’s press release that accompanied the video and the booklet. It has been edited only for style.
“Skylight Hospitality (company) was floated by Vadra as a registered company in November 2007 with Rs 1 lakh one lakh rupee of equity capital. In February 2008, the company registered the purchase of 3.531 acres of agriculture land in village Shikohpur, Sector 83, Gurgaon for Rs 7.5 crore using a false cheque. Cheque No. 607251 for Rs 7.5 crore was shown as payment made to the vendor Onkareshwar Properties (another company) in registered deed No. 4928 dated 12 February 2008. It was claimed in the deed that Rs 45 lakh towards stamp duty was also paid in cash by Skylight Hospitality. The advances received from DLF (yet another company) were used to pay for the cost of land and stamp duty later on 9 August 2008. The land with commercial colony licence permission for 2.701 acres was sold to DLF for Rs 58 crore. As per clause 3 (a) of a collaboration agreement dated 5 August 2008, the possession of the land was already handed over to DLF. A total consideration of Rs 58 crore for sale of land and commercial colony license was received as follows:
- Rs 5 crore on 03 June 2008
- Rs 10 crore on 27 March 2009
- Rs 35 crore on 07 October 2009
- Rs 8 crore on 25 July 2012
A Letter Of Intent (LoI) for commercial colony license was issued with great speed by the licensing authority, Director Town and Country Planning Haryana, on 28 March 2008, within just 18 days of the application made. The commercial colony licence was similarly granted in great hurry on 15 December 2008 against the application made on 18 November 2008. The licence was renewed on 18 January 2011 and permitted to be transferred on 3 April 2012.
The value of 3.531 acre land shot up by Rs 50 crore due to the commercial colony license permission accorded to the company by the government. The value of the LoI/license was Rs 50 crore which was hawked to DLF Retail Developers (now DLF Universal). The fortunes of Onkareshwar Properties soared from Rs 6,783 as on 31 March 2005 to a bank balance of Rs 70.84 crore, net investments of Rs 85.27 crore and fixed assets of Rs 9.76 crore within a period of 6 years as on 31 March 2011.
Questions to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Vadra must come clean on the land deals of Vadra and his companies and answer the following questions to the nation.
- With a cash & bank balance of Rs 1 lakh, how was cheque no. 607251 for Rs 7.5 crore issued by Skylight Hospitality to Onkareshwar Properties on 9 February 2008? Who paid the Rs 45 lakh in cash towards stamp duty on 12 February 2008?
- Whether the cheque no. 607251 belonged to Skylight Hospitality and whether the cheque was presented to the bank for encashment?
- Who are the beneficial owners of Onkareshwar Properties? What was the quid pro quo for the sweetheart deal with Skylight Hospitality?
- What was the real purpose of DLF Retail Developers when it paid Skylight Hospitality advances of Rs 6.5 crore on 05 June 2008, Rs 1 crore on 10 June 2008 and Rs 0.55 crore on 12 June 2008?
- Were the purposes of these advances changed at a later date?
- Was the payment of Rs 7.95 crore (Rs 7.5 crore towards cost of land and Rs 45 lakh towards stamp duty) not paid to Onkareshwar Properties on 09 August 2008 vide cheque no. 978951 after receiving advances from DLF as above?
- What assessment was made of the technical and financial capacity or intent of Skylight Hospitality to develop over two lakh square feet of commercial complex before issuing the LoI in a hurry within 18 days of the application on 28 March 2008?
- A Collaboration Agreement dated 5 August 2008 was entered into between Skylight Hospitality and DLF Retail Developers to develop a commercial complex at the site. Why was an unregistered agreement entertained by the licensing authority against the provisions of the Registration Act leading to loss of crore of State revenues?
- Why was the commercial colony license granted in favour of Skylight Hospitality when it was clear in the application for grant of license and other correspondence that the actual developer would be DLF Retail Developers (renamed DLF Universal)?
- When Skylight Hospitality had already entered into an agreement to sell the land against which Rs 50 crore was received as advance against sale and possession of the land was handed over to DLF, why was the commercial colony license renewed in favour of Skylight Hospitality on 18 January 2011?
- Under what statute is the colony license permitted to be transferred and sold?
- The transfer of the land was completed before August 2008 as per section 2 (47) (v) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Was tax paid by Skylight Hospitality in the annual year 2009-10 (financial year 2008-09) on the short term capital gains of Rs 50 crore which accrued to the company and if not, what penalty proceedings have been initiated against the company by the Income Tax authorities?
- Do Mr. Rahul Gandhi and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi support the business model of Mr. Vadra? The business model of Mr. Vadra is kleptocratic rentiering from the discretionary licensing and change in land use permissions of the government. (highlighted)
- What went behind the scuttling of the thematic audit, “Issue of licenses for development of colonies etc. after release of land” (part within quotes highlighted) in Haryana by the Comptroller and Auditor General on 3 June 2013?
Likely offenses involved
- Offences under sections 9 and 13 of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
- Offenses under sections 417, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of IPC for non-disclosure of material facts in the renewal application of M/s Skylight Hospitality, viz, that it had entered into an agreement to sell the land and received Rs. 50 crore as advance against sale of land and that the possession of the land was handed over to the buyer.
- Offence under section 82 of the Registration Act, 1908 for making false statement in the registered deed No. 4928 dated 12.02.2008.
- Offences under sections 217 (5) and section 628 of the Companies Act, 1956 for showing false book overdraft of Rs 7.94 crore in the balance sheet of M/s Skylight Hospitality as on 31.03.2008.
Violation of Haryana Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972
Vadra started acquiring land in Haryana from 9 Sept 2005. As on 7 Dec 2009, the total land acquired and owned in Haryana by Vadra including his wife and his companies was 147 acres or more, against the permissible limit of a maximum of 54 acres. The limit is less in case the land acquired is of better category (ceiling is 18 acres for ‘A’ category land). The permissible limit was first exceeded on 9 January 2008 which is continuing till date. The declaration of surplus area is mandatory under section 9 within 3 months of the acquisition.
Questions to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi
- Why was no action taken against Mr. Vadra for exceeding the permissible limit under the Haryana Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972 and failing to make the mandatory declaration under Section 9?
Likely offense involved
- Non-declaration of surplus area is an offense under section 21 of Haryana Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972.
Destroying Institutions, blighting the honest and rewarding the corrupt
The governments of Congress-ruled states have been reduced to vassals under the Gandhi-Vadra family. The institutions of the State and their statutory apparatuses are being destroyed, the honest and sincere officers are actively discriminated against and hounded and the corrupt are rewarded and promoted. The BJP asks the following questions from the first family of the Indian National Congress.
- An IAS officer who handled change in land-use and colony license permissions for nine years from 2005 to 2013 in the office of the Chief Minister Haryana was appointed Member of UPSC in September 2013, i.e., 5 months after his retirement. The officer had retired in the rank of Additional Secretary. The post of Member of UPSC is normally meant for officers in the rank of Secretary to Government of India. What considerations weighed in the appointment?
- Why is the statutory order dated 15 October 2012 of the Director General Consolidation of Land Holdings, Haryana under section 42 of the East Punjab Consolidation Act of 1948, cancelling the land mutation between Skylight Hospitality and DLF Universal not implemented till date? Are some individuals bigger than the rule of law? Can a Committee of three IAS officers appointed by a Congress Chief Minister conduct a fair and independent inquiry against the Gandhi-Vadra family? Can this committee usurp the authority of the High Court and nullify a statutory order? What is the credibility of the committee of three IAS officers, of whom one member was principal secretary, Town & Country Planning Department and in whose tenure the commercial colony license was wrongly renewed on 18 January 2011? What considerations weighed upon the Government in extending the service of the chairman of this committee after his retirement from the IAS?
Questions to Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi about land purchase by Shri Vadra in Rajasthan
- Is it a fact or not that Vadra through his various companies like Skylight Realty Pvt Ltd, Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd, Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd etc purchased about 1,634 hectares lands in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district between June 2009 to August 2011? For what purpose such huge chunks of lands were purchased in various parts of Bikaner district?
- Is it a fact or not that the western districts of Rajasthan receive the maximum solar radiation and solar energy was sought to be promoted under the overall policy of encouraging non-conventional energy? With this end, solar park was sought to be established as per the solar policy of Rajasthan Government were by more than 700 companies have registered themselves with a proposal to generate more than 16,000 MW of solar power.
- Is it a fact or not that as per Government of India policy the Government of Rajasthan was to establish a land bank to provide land at 10% of DLC rate to investor for solar energy? Quite aware of all this Vadra through his front companies had purchased most of the land near the Highway or near the grids sub-stations taking benefit of the very helpful attitude of the Ashok Gehlot led Congress Government of Rajasthan.
- Vadra very well knew that land around power sub-station would be valuable once Government announces incentives for solar power generation because solar plants situated close to sub-station are most economical because with less investment power can be evacuated.
- Is it a fact or not that companies were forced to purchase land from Vadra’s companies at huge cost who were desirous of producing solar power. The then Congress Government in Rajasthan was working in perfect co-ordination with Vadra to facilitate huge return for his investment.
- To help him even the Agriculture Land Ceiling Provision of Rajasthan were amended. Under section 4(J) of 1973 Land Ceiling Act the maximum permissible area in the desert zone is 175 acres. Since the huge purchase of 1,634 hectares approximately was clearly violative hence an Amendment was passed in a hurry in 2010 by the then Ashok Gehlot’s Government exempting such companies which wanted to establish project but for that it was important to get prior Government approval for specific project related non-agriculture purposes to avail the exemption beyond the permissible limit.
- The agriculture land in huge chunk purchased by Vadra companies are much in excess of the ceiling limit and no land use change for specified projects has been taken. Therefore is it not a fact that for failure to furnish proper factual returns, Vadra must suffer the prosecution for offences under the Act punishable with imprisonment for two years.
- Is it not a fact that Vadra has not established any project in public interest nor encouraged investment? In fact, he has traded with huge chunks of land of hundreds of poor farmers for undue enrichment in violation of law which is clearly punishable.”
Reacting to the allegations, Priyanka Vadra said to journalists at Rae Bareli, “They are baffled and running around like rats. I knew that they will repeat their bunch of lies. There is nothing new in it but let them say whatever they want to. I am not afraid of anyone and will continue to speak against their negative, destructive and shameful politics.”
“I will not remain quiet and I am waiting for them to say more,” she said.