Just about a month before Rajasthan goes to polls on Dec 7, state chief minister Vasundhara Raje today (Friday, November 2) suffered a blow that further hobbles her fight against a pervasive anti-incumbency in the electoral battle.
A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice KM Joseph issued notices to her and her son, BJP MP Dushyant Singh, in a fraud land sale case.
The notices have been issued against a petition that alleges that Raje and her son fraudulently sold government land located near the Dholpur Palace to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and received a compensation of Rs 1.97 crore from the government against the sale in 2010.
Raje was married into the erstwhile Dholpur royal family and retains its Dholpur property after a bitter divorce battle with Hemant Singh. She, however, still claims to remain Rajasthan’s ‘bahu’ or daughter-in-law.
The petition states that Raje was not a public servant at the time of the alleged commission of the offence; she was then the Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly. Raje and Singh allegedly faked ownership of a 567 square metre plot of land near the Dholpur Palace and sold it to the NHAI for Rs 1.97 crore when it was acquiring land for a highway.
In August this year, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea seeking an FIR and a CBI probe against Raje and her son in the same case. Earlier, a trial court had refused to order a probe into the allegation against Raje on the ground that the necessary sanction for prosecution had not been obtained under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the chief minister.