Shanti Bhushan lands in fresh controversy

Written by: Pti
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Shanti Bhushan
New Delhi, April 20: A fresh controversy involving anti-corruption campaigner Shanti Bhushan broke out today over allotment of priced farmhouse plots to him and his son Jayant in nearby Noida and demands have cropped for the lawyer's resignation from the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill.

Congress and Samajwadi Party questioned the allotment of farmhouses to Bhushans and suggested that Shanti Bhushan should withdraw himself from the Joint Committee to draft Lokpal Bill.

The controversy arose after reports were published today that the Bhushans has been allotted 10,000 sq metre plots valued at Rs 3.5 crore each to them by the UP government in 2009.

Both the Bhushans were quoted in a newspaper that there was no transparency in the scheme and allotments were made without any clear criterion.

Jayant, who appeared against UP government in the case relating to installing of statues in a Noida park, also said admitted that the allotment was arbitrary but there was no question of conflict for him.

Reacting to the controversy The senior Bhushan alleged that some "corrupt, important" politicians were behind the allegations as it will be impossible for them to draft a "soft" Lokpal Bill if he was present in the drafting committee, which he co-chairs.

He said he has not sought any preferential treatment or any discretionary quota for getting land alloted to him and Jayanth, also a lawyer.

"Public applications were invited...It is clear that it is part of a campaign by some corrupt important politicians that if I remain on the joint committee, it will not be possible for them to draft a soft law.

"(If I am there) they will be compelled to draft a really tough law against corruption. Probably those politicians are feeling jittery. The real intention seems to be to derail the process (of drafting the Lokpal Bill)," he said.

The fresh allegations came days after the eminent lawyer was embroiled in another controversy when a "fake" CD surfaced in which he was said to be having conversations with political leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh over fixing a case. He had denied the allegations.

Vikas Singh, a former Additional Solicitor General who had applied for a farmhouse plot and filed a case in the Allahabad High Court against the allotment, said he had been writing to the Noida authorities on allotment of these developed plots for a song.

"I was raising this issue for the past six-seven months. These were not being auctioned. These are all developed areas. There will be a clamour for such plots," he said.

In his reaction, Jayant said if there were more applicants than the plots available, then there should have been draw of lots. 


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