HC orders removal of top Noida officials

CEO, Chairman shunted out, CBI inquiry ordered into charges of 'financial misappropriation'

The Allahabad High Court has ordered the UP government to remove Noida Authority Chairman Rakesh Bahadur and CEO Sanjeev Saran from their posts. The court directions came as it called for a CBI inquiry into charges of financial misappropriation against the two officials.

The two were re-appointed to the posts on May 4 after the Samajwadi Party government returned to power in the state.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala and Justice P K S Baghel ordered the inquiry, following a petition by NGO Madhav Samaj Nirman Samiti.

The NGO accused the two officials of financial misappropriation during their previous tenure — between 2005 and 2007. At that time too, the SP was in power.

Counsel for the petitioner

M D Singh Shekhar said: "The court also directed the state government not to post these two officers in western Uttar Pradesh for the next six months and not give them charge of other industrial authorities — Greater Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Development Authority."

The court directed the CBI to inquire into the alleged acts of "omission and commission" by the officials and submit a report within six months, Shekhar said.

Noida Authority standing counsel said Shivam Yadav said: "The court has directed removal of the two officials. We are yet to get a copy of the order. The terms and references for a CBI inquiry will become clear once we get the order."

During previous hearings of the petition, another division bench had asked the state to reconsider its decision to re-appoint the two officials given the allegations, but the government took no action.

The two officials have been accused of allotting plots under a farmhouse scheme to the hotel industry at Rs 7,400 per square metre instead of the market rate of Rs 74,000 per square metre, leading to a loss to the exchequer to the tune of over Rs 4,000 crore.

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