New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, hearing a petition alleging land allotment at a throwaway price to DIAL for the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, Wednesday asked the union government to submit documents related to the allotment of land.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw granted two weeks' time to the government to file documents after Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandhiok said a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the issue had been submitted and the matter had been referred to a parliamentary committee.

"The matter is pending before the parliamentary committee which is looking into the issues," Chandhiok said. The court posted the matter for Nov 21.The public interest litigation (PIL) alleged that the government gave away "190 acres of prime land and assets to DIAL at a throwaway price".

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate M.N. Krishnamani asked the court not to dispose of the plea saying "parliamentary committee cannot consider the criminal aspect of matter which is to be dealt by CBI".

The PIL sought a court-monitored investigation into the decision of the authorities to allot land to DIAL, a private consortium, for the airport at a throwaway price. The court had earlier asked the government to give details of steps taken after the CAG submitted its report.

Youth against Corruption, an NGO, has filed the PIL and told the court that "the CAG report has listed out a number of glaring examples of favouritism towards DIAL, causing huge losses to the exchequer".

"By just investing Rs.1,813 crore, GMR (which runs DIAL) now owns 4,700 acres of land in the most prime location of India. State largesse has been passed into private hands virtually free," the petition said.

The NGO contended that its complaint submitted to the prime minister and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the alleged irregularities Aug 22 evoked no response. The petitioner sought a court-monitored investigation by the CBI or a special investigation team into the issue.

"It is submitted that the above favours have been given to DIAL when Praful Patel was the civil aviation minister. His involvement and that of other officers for some personal benefits cannot be ruled out," alleged the petition.

(Agencies)

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