Following the Rajasthan Government’s recommendations, the CBI today registered 18 cases related to alleged “benami” land deals, including one linked with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. The cases have been registered under IPC Sections 420, 461 and 471. “The cases pertain to fraudulent and fictitious claims and allotments in lieu of land acquired for the Mahajan field firing range, Bikaner, which is used by the Army,” a CBI spokesperson said. The cases were referred to the CBI by the Centre on the request of the Rajasthan Government.On August 22, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria had said 18 cases involving alleged land deals of around 1,400 bigha near the Mahajan Ganj firing range, Bikaner, by various persons and companies during 2010-2012 had been recommended for a CBI probe.
All cases were lodged at the Kolayat police station and some accused had already been arrested.The land in question was traded not once but three/four times by local people and private companies. The exact names of buyers and sellers and their whereabouts were not known yet, Kataria has said. About 275 bighas were traded by companies linked with Vadra. “These companies sold the alleged land thrice,” he added. Reacting to this, state Congress president Sachin Pilot said, “BJP misuses CBI, ED (Enforcement Directorate) and other agencies for political gains. In this alleged land scam case, the state government had formed a committee but the committee’s findings were not disclosed by the government.”He said, “Those who have been arrested in the land scam are connected with BJP. If BJP people are being arrested in the land scam, then we are ready for any probe.” The state government had on December 31, 2014 cancelled 18 mutations (transfer of ownership) in Bikaner after allegedly finding them to be illegal.