M A I N   N E W S

Rodrigues in the news again
Tribune News Service

SF RodriguesChandigarh, October 15
English news channel CNN-IBN today came out with a sensational report claiming that the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, General SF Rodrigues (Retd), had been “summoned” by the Prime Minister over his alleged role in “irregularities” in allotment of land to two private companies for setting up mega projects in Chandigarh.

The news report, which claimed that Rodrigues had been “summoned’ at the PMO on Monday, tended to put the blame on the Administrator for giving prised land for a song to two builders for setting up a Film City and an Amusement-cum-Theme Park. The news report dubbed the price of the land at “Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000” crore and claimed that it was allotted for a few hundred crores.

However, officials in Delhi categorically denied the report, claiming no “summons” had been sent to Rodrigues. The Secretary to the Governor, MP Singh, also denied the report, saying: “As of now (8.30 pm), no summon has been received and the Administrator is not going anywhere.”

The news report, quoting a CVC inquiry, claimed that all rules were “violated” while allotting land to the two private companies. The CVC, the news report claimed, had asked the CBI to register a case and begin a pre liminary enquiry (PE).

Quoting “sources” from the Home Ministry, the report even claimed that Rodrigues had “rushed” to Delhi last Tuesday to give an explanation to the PM, hence pleading before the latter that there was “ no direct evidence” (against him).

Denying these charges, sources close to the Governor claimed that there was no truth in the report and they would be filing a “criminal defamation” case against the channel tomorrow.

Recently a special audit by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had found large-scale irregularities in the allotment of land to major corporates at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park here. The Film City, the Amusement Park and the IT Park are considered to be a brainchild of the UT Administrator.

The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee had yesterday demanded registration of an FIR against Rodrigues and a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities committed in the allotment of land for mega projects in the city.

CTCC vice-president Subhash Chawla had said an FIR should be lodged against him on the basis of the MHA report. He said since a number of officials associated with these projects had now been repatriated, the CBI should probe their roles too.



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