Black Friday for north India's realtors as CBI raids 15 developers

It was a black Friday for north India’s real estate companies as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided offices and properties of 15 of the biggest developers in the region.


From JMD, Gupta Promoters Private Ltd, and H S Realty, to major ones including Ansal Properties, Emaar MGF, and DLF — all had their offices raided by CBI sleuths in simultaneous raids.


The CBI booked former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on cheating and corruption charges in connection with land acquisition in Gurugram that favoured private builders. It conducted searches at 20 locations including his Rohtak residence.


The CBI named in the FIR Haryana Additional Chief Secretary Haryana Trilok Chand Gupta, who was then chief administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The searches were carried out in Delhi and Gurugram.


Stock prices tank, other developers run for cover


DLF, the country’s largest real estate developer, was the worst-hit as its shares ended 11.5 per cent lower, losing Rs 3,600 crore in market capitalisation, after the CBI raided the company's office in Gurugram in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in allocating land to the firm. The shares of Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd fell 5.6 per cent.


“A  CBI team visited our offices today as well as those of several other corporates, with respect to an old case, pertaining to a land acquisition matter. We are confident of the merits of our case and are extending our full cooperation to the authorities,” DLF’s spokesperson said.


Other builders booked by the CBI included R S Infrastructure, Martial Buildcon, Marconi Infratech, Commander Realtors, SU Estates Pvt Ltd, Krrish Buildtech, JMD, Gupta Promoters, H S Realty, DSS Infrastructure, and Sana Realtors.             


Officials at the CBI said investigation was on and files from all these offices pertaining to land deals had been collected.


CBI’s allegations


According to CBI spokesperson Nitin Wakankar, this is the third case against Hooda and others and was registered on the directions of the Supreme Court on November 1, 2017, when the CBI was entrusted with the probe into alleged irregularities in acquiring 1,417.07 acres (one acre=43,560 square feet) between 2009 and 2012 for Sectors 58 to 63 and 65 to 67 in Gurugram.


The government had issued the notification on June 2, 2009, he said. Hooda was chief minister at that time. Subsequently, another notification was issued for acquiring 850.10 acres on May 31, 2010, officials said.


The CBI alleged during the notification period approximately 616.40 acres was released in favour of developers. “It emerged during the preliminary enquiry that the objective of HUDA in acquiring the land to ensure the availability of developed land at affordable prices to the public at large and to the economically weaker sections of society has not been achieved,” the CBI has alleged.

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