x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ghandi son-in-law's land deal blocked

A state official has blocked a land deal between Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of the Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi, and one of the country's biggest property developers.

CHANDIGARH, HARYANA // A state official has blocked a land deal between Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of the Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi, and one of the country's biggest property developers.

Ashok Khemka cancelled the deal on Monday. It was his last day in office as Haryana's director general of land consolidation and land records, and inspector general of registration.

The sale of more than 1.4 hectares on New Delhi's outskirts to DLF Universal by a company owned by Mr Vadra was worth 580 million rupees (Dh40.3m).

Haryana's Congress-ruled government had ordered Mr Khemka to be transferred from his post on October 11, three days after he launched an inquiry into the activities in four state districts near Delhi of businesses owned by Mr Vadra.

He had directed officials in Gurgaon, Mewat, Faridabad and Palwal to investigate land deals since 2005 for undervaluation of property to evade taxes. He called for a report to be filed by October 25.

But the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday said the Haryana government was not investigating the "undue benefits" in the land deals and instead was inquiring into the conduct of the officer.

"What is needed is an impartial probe," said the party spokesman Prakash Javadekar.