Court orders probe into Navin Chawla land deal

February 9th, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyJaipur, Feb 9 (IANS) A Jaipur court Monday ordered a probe into a land allotment case allegedly involving Election Commissioner Navin Chawla.

The district and sessions court ordered the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Gandhinagar police station here to inquire into the matter on a complaint filed by state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legal cell chief Yogendra Singh Tanwar.

Tanwar alleged that Chawla used his official position to get a six-acre plot of land near Jaipur airport in 2000.

“The court ordered the Gandhinagar police to submit its inquiry report by March 16,” Tanwar told reporters.

Chawla floated two family trusts to get the land under the pretext of starting an institute for deaf, dumb and leprosy affected children, Tanwar, who is also an advocate, says in his complaint.

The trust got the land in the Bambala-Sheopur area at a rate of Rs.100 per sq metre, one tenth of the reserve price of Rs.1,000, the complaint said.

The land was earlier allotted to a private college in the city at the rate of Rs.1,000 per sq metre, the complaint added.

The Congress was in power in the state when the land was allotted.

Chawla was then the principal secretary (ports and power) with the Pondicherry government. Later he became Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) secretary.

Chawla landed in controversy last week when Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami recommended to President Pratibha Patil that he be removed from his post charging him with being partisan.

However, the government came to Chawla’s defence with Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj hitting out at Gopalaswami for suggesting the sacking of Chawla and stating that he would be the next head of the autonomous panel.

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