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Inquiry panel gives ”clean chit” to Modi govt in land cases

Ahmedabad: A judicial commission probing corruption charges against the Narendra Modi government has given a “clean chit” to it in nine land allotment cases, an official spokesperson said today.

The one-man commission of Justice M B Shah has submitted its interim report which has found no illegality in land allotments, state spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said. “The commission has submitted an interim report on its findings and concluded that the state government has adhered to proper procedures of land allotment and no illegality has been committed,” said Vyas, who is also a minister.

The report was today placed before the Cabinet which met under chairmanship of Modi and comes on a day when the Election Commission announced Assembly poll dates in Gujarat.”The report says the government had followed proper procedures and pricing of land while making allotments to industrial houses. The entire procedure was done appropriately,” Vyas maintained.

The inquiry panel was asked to probe 15 allegations of corruption and on nine points (related to land), the Modi government has been given “clean chit”, he claimed. The commission under Justice Shah, a retired Supreme Court judge, was set up on August 16, 2011 by the BJP government to probe allegations of corruption levelled against it by the Congress. Among other charges, the Opposition party had accused the Modi government of showing favouritism toward certain industrial houses in land allotments.

Under its terms of reference, the panel was also to study and compare with other states the manner in which land had been allocated to industries, analyse sales and commercial taxes, stamp duty and all tax concessions and difference of taxes vis-a-vis those states with Gujarat.

The Commission was initially slated to submit its report by March. But the government extended its term for further six months till September. “As the inquiry into the remaining six points are still pending, the government will short decide on giving further extension to the commission,” Vyas said.

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