Months after raid and questioned by CBI over alleged irregularities in allotment of industrial plots in Panchkula when Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Congress was the Haryana chief minister, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) member Chhatar Singh has resigned from his post. According to reports, Chhatar Singh, who had served as principal secretary to Hooda before joining UPSC, put his paper on Friday following the intervention from senior administration functionaries at the Centre. He was to retire on March 4, 2018. CBI is stated to have prepared a charge sheet against Chhatar Singh in relation with the Panchkula case.
Earlier he was questioned by CBI for several hours on May 1. His houses was raided in September 2016 in connection with a case related to release of land at Manesar in Gurgaon. Singh was not named in the Panchkula case when the FIR was initially registered. Hooda too has been booked in that case. Singh, 64, was appointed as member of the UPSC on September 2, 2013. The 1980 batch IAS officer had served as additional principal secretary to Hooda from 2005 to November 2009 and principal secretary and chief coordinator, investment promotion centre from November 2009 till August 2013.
The Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government had in December 2015 ordered the state vigilance bureau to register an FIR in the Panchkula case after which it was referred to CBI. The FIR states that industrial plots were given to 14 people after allegedly manipulating provisions of allotment which included allowing them to submit their applications after the last date of submission.
The 14 people who had been allotted land had submitted their applications on January 24, 2012 whereas the last date of submission was January 6, 2012, the FIR says. It also alleges that ineligible beneficiaries were allotted plots at rates lesser than the prevailing market rates, causing a loss of several crores to the state exchequer.