Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Thursday that the licence of the land purchased by real estate firm DLF in a controversial deal with Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra had not been renewed. Subsequently, the licence “stood deemed lapsed”, Khattar said at a media briefing in Chandigarh, according to The Indian Express.
Khattar’s statements came two weeks after the police registered a first information report against Vadra and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
However, unidentified government officials later told The Indian Express that the licence cannot be deemed lapsed. “Technically, the licence cannot be called deemed lapsed because the department has not yet initiated process for its cancellation,” an official said. “Also, the DLF has been depositing licence renewal fee to the department. The licence, which has not been renewed since 2012, has also not been transferred from Skylight Hospitality [Vadra’s firm] to DLF’s name as yet.”
“DLF is a 100% compliant organisation in all respects,” a DLF spokesperson told the daily. “As far as this licence is concerned, all government charges and dues stand paid. The plot would be developed as per the permissions, rules and regulations of the government.”
In 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state set up a commission led by Justice SN Dhingra to investigate licences given to develop real estate in four villages – Sihi, Shikohpur, Kherki Daula, and Sikanderpur Bada – in Gurugram. The report had accused Hooda of giving a few private companies undue advantages in procuring licences. This includes Skylight Hospitality owned by Vadra.