New Delhi: UPSC member Chhatar Singh has resigned, over three months after he was questioned by the CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in the allotment of 14 industrial plots in Haryana’s Panchkula.
President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted his resignation with effect from 22 September, an order issued by personnel ministry said.
Singh took over as member in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 2 September 2013. His term was due to end on 4 March, next year.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on 5 June questioned former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Chhatar Singh in connection with the alleged irregularities in the allotment of 14 industrial plots. Singh was principal secretary to Hooda when the allotments took place.
The CBI has registered an FIR to probe corruption in the allotment of the industrial plots during Hooda’s tenure as the chief minister. According to the FIR, industrial plots were given to 14 people by allegedly manipulating certain provisions of the allotment. These included allowing them to submit their applications even after the last date of submission had ended.
The 14 people who had been alloted land had submitted their applications on 24 January 2012, whereas the last date of submission was 6 January, the FIR said.
Besides Hooda, who as chief minister was chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), others named in the FIR are retired IAS officer D.P. S. Nagal, then HUDA chief administrator, S.C. Kansal, then controller of finance, and B.B. Taneja, then deputy superintendent of HUDA.
The FIR also alleged that ineligible beneficiaries were alloted plots at rates lesser than the prevailing market rates, causing losses of several crores to the state exchequer.
It is alleged that the 14 plots, ranging from 496 square metres to 1,280 square metres, were allotted at throwaway prices after changes were made midway in the eligibility criteria.
All the allottees were allegedly related to politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people, including the then chief minister of the state.