Ex-Mayor Rita may land in more troublehttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/exmayor-rita-may-land-in-more-trouble/

Ex-Mayor Rita may land in more trouble

To add to the problems of UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi the BSP government has decided to pursue a case regarding some questionable land allotments....

To add to the problems of UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi the BSP government has decided to pursue a case regarding some questionable land allotments during her tenure as mayor of Allahabad from 1991 to 1996.

The government is going to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against a stay by the Allahabad High Court on the investigation in the FIR lodged against Joshi on January 16,2008,for her alleged role in the sale of land. Sources in the Law Department said they had sought legal opinion on the matter. BSP leader from Allahabad Ashok Bajpai took the initiative and requested the government to allow him to move an SLP against the High Court order passed in February 2008.

“The Law Department has been holding the matter for some reasons. But after the Wednesday’s incident,things have changed and instructions have been given to prepare the case for filing an SLP,” added sources. “On Thursday again,I requested the law officer to move the SLP,” confirmed Bajpai,an arch rival of Joshi.

On January 16,2008,one Shiv Babu Gupta had lodged an FIR against Joshi at the Civil Lines Police Station,alleging she had misused her power as mayor to get the estate land transferred in the name of municipal corporation,which was later sold to some individuals.

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The land in question,measuring around six acres and worth several crores,is situated at a prime location at Fethpur Bichua in George Town area. In government records,it was a pond. A CBI inquiry ordered by the Allahabad High Court in 2000,after the district administration moved it,had indicted the then municipal commissioner S N Pandey,legal advisor S L Yadav and some other officers.

In its report,the CBI had accused them of forging documents to show it as nazul land whereas it was basically estate land. While nazul land is the property of the municipal corporation,estate land is the property of the district administration. The CBI report also said the mayor approved the resolution passed by a committee of the corporation to sell the land.

Joshi moved the Allahabad High Court against the FIR on January 21,2008. On February 25,the High Court turned down her request to quash the FIR,but directed the police authorities not to carry out investigation into the case till further order.