Chandigarh: Haryana government on Tuesday rejected Arvind Kejriwal's charge about a nexus between state officials and DLF and that the land meant for setting up a hospital was released in favour the realty major. (Agencies)
The state government also rejected Kejriwal's allegation that 350 acres of government land was given to DLF by rejecting the bids of two construction majors even without opening their technical bids, saying this was "baseless".
At a joint news conference here, Director General of Haryana Town and Country Planning and Urban Estates Department TC Gupta and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation's (HSIIDC) Managing Director Rajeev Arora denied any nexus between the state officials and DLF.
The two senior IAS officers said "we reject the allegations that the state officials are tilted in favour of the DLF".
Gupta said the land had been released to East India Hotels Ltd more than 16 years ago and the permission was granted to it to sell land to DLF Ltd "after following due process of law".
"No land belonging to the government or Haryana Urban Development Authority was allotted or transferred to either DLF Ltd or East India Hotels Ltd," he said.
Gupta said East India Hotels Ltd. had applied for construction of Hospital/Nursing Home/Oberoi Hotel Management Institute and a Health farm plus accommodation for executives in respect of land measuring 18 acres 2 Marla and this change of land use permission was granted on July 17, 1984.
"This project however, was not completed by the land owner," Gupta said. He said that later on acquisition proceedings were started by issuing notification on January 30 1989 in respect of this land and other lands of Sector-30, Gurgaon.
The acquisition proceedings were challenged by East India Hotels Ltd. in 1990, Gupta said.
He said that on request of East India Hotels, decision was taken to exclude land measuring 30 acres out of 37 acres owned by the company from acquisition proceedings and this land was released on September 19, 1995.
"Therefore, no release of land was done during last 10 years," Gupta said.
Gupta said that in 2005, a representation was received from East India Hotels Ltd. and DLF Ltd. that East India Hotels Ltd. has not been able to utilise the land for which they had applied for change of land use permission and requested permission of the Government to sell the land.
The request for sale of land was examined by the Law Department and it was opined that the government can grant permission for sale of land subject to certain conditions, he said.
In a follow-up to his earlier allegations of a quid pro quo between Robert Vadra and DLF, Kejriwal had claimed to have more proof to show there was a "nexus" between Haryana government and the DLF which was given land circumventing laws. Gupta cited a case dating back to January 2009, in which the Supreme Court had held that there is no statutory basis requiring the licencee to make payment for the cost of construction of part of the internal community buildings.
"Accordingly the appellants, Ansals API Ltd were allowed refund of payment of nearly Rs 10 crore at a rate proportionate to Rs 61,000/gross acre of licensed area, for the licences granted prior to 1988 and the amount has been adjusted against its External Development Charges dues in other licences.
Based on these orders of the Supreme Court, DLF had subsequently sought refund of the component cost deposited by them against all licences granted to them till date with interest claiming refund of Rs 594.6 crore by filing a civil writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which has been contested by the Department...the state government made some retrospective amendments and contested the case so that it did not have to cough up the huge sum like had been in a previous case involving Ansals API," Gupta said.
He said if the state government or its agencies were "tilted" towards the DLF, they could have done it a "favour" and not contested against it. Kejriwal also alleged 350 acres of government land was given to DLF by rejecting the bids of two construction majors even without opening their technical bids.
"The other two had quoted higher prices for the land than DLF, which would have resulted in the government getting more money," he alleged.
Rebutting the charges, Arora said the land in question falls in Wazirabad in Gurgaon district, over which the then (INLD) government in 2002-03 conceptualised a leisure and entertainment project.
He said that in 2006 the state agencies acquired the land and it was decided to go for international competitive bidding to invite bids and Request for Proposals (RFPs) and wide publicity was also given before inviting the bids.
Arora said that despite DLF emerging as the sole bidder then, the project was not handed over to it for developing the land and it was decided to have another round of international competitive bidding.
"In April 2009, the Project Evaluation Committee did not accept the single bid that was earlier received and decided to go for international competitive bidding again with some modified conditions...At the closing of bids, two additional bids (apart from DLF) were received--from a consortium led by M/s Country Heights Holdings, Berhad (Malaysia) and consortium led by M/S Unitech Ltd and the same were opened before the Technical Bid Opening Committee and due process was followed", he said.
The technical bids were examined strictly in accordance with the RPF document and no new parameters at the time of evaluation were introduced (as alleged by Kejriwal), Arora said, adding the bids of the two bidders were rejected on technical grounds and a "transparent bidding process was followed)".
Arora said the reserve price of Rs 1703 crore was kept for the Wazirpur land and the DLF was awarded the bid at Rs 1703.16 crore.
In addition, the DLF was required to pay the statutory charges towards change of land use, licensing fee, External Development Charges etc, which worked out to over Rs 500 crore over two years ago and kept getting enhanced from time to time, he said.
Chandigarh: Haryana government on Tuesday rejected Arvind Kejriwal's charge about a nexus between state officials and DLF and that the land meant for setting up a hospital was released in favour the realty major.