The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of former UP chief Secretary Neera Yadav in the Noida land allotment scam and sentenced her to two years in prison. The apex court also convicted former IAS officer Rajiv Kumar in the case and gave him a two-year jail term as well. Yadav and Kumar had been convicted in the scam by a CBI court earlier.
The verdict was given after a PIL pointed to grave illegalities in the allotment and conversion of land plots. The petition said that several people had been initially allotted plots at various locations, but got bigger plots in better areas after conversion and payment of charges.
A 1971-batch IAS officer and 39th chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Yadav had joined the BJP ahead of the 2009 parliamentary polls in the presence of then BJP national president Rajnath Singh. She was convicted of violating the rules to help a company named Flex Industries, owned by Ashok Chaturvedi, get an industrial plot in Noida in 1995 when she was the chairman of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida).
A writ petition filed by the Noida Entrepreneurs Association in 1997 had alleged large-scale bungling in the allotment of land in different sectors and in commercial Sector 18 during Yadav’s tenure as the CEO and chairperson of the authority.
The CBI had said in its chargesheet that Yadav’s allotment of two plots to two different companies owned by Chaturvedi cost the government more than a crore in losses. She was accused by the CBI of changing criteria for eligibility for land to benefit Chaturvedi. The CBI registered the case against Yadav in February 1998 on the orders of the Supreme Court.