Former UP chief secretary Neera Yadav gets 3-year jail for Noida land scam

LUCKNOW: The CBI court in Ghaziabad on Tuesday sentenced former UP chief secretaryNeera Yadav and senior IAS officer Rajiv Kumarto three years’ imprisonment in the Noida land allotment scam that took place between 1993-95. The court also fined them Rs 1 lakh each.

Yadav and Kumar later got bail from a session’s court against personal bonds of Rs 5 lakh each. The bails were on technical grounds: prison sentences of three years do not warrantimmediate arrest. Nevertheless this is the first instance of a top IAS officer being convicted of corruption in UP. While Yadav took voluntary retirement in March 2008, Kumar who was principal secretary, appointments, was moved out of the sensitive office and put on wait list.

This is Yadav’s second conviction in the Noida land scam; she got a four-year sentence in December 2010 for illegally allotting land to Flex Industries when she was Noida CEO. Flex owner Ashok Chaturvedi, too, was pronounced guilty and sentenced to four years’ term. Both are on bail. Tuesday’s verdict is connected to her making illegal allotments to her relatives, bureaucrats and politicians. Incidentally, Yadav and her husband Mahendra Singh are BJP members since 2009.

CBI special judge S Lal gave the verdict on the plot allotment scandal in which the Supreme Court had ordered an inquiry against Yadav and her then deputy Kumar. The CBI registered a case against the two on February 26, 1998. The charge-sheet was filed on October 16, 2002.

CBI counsel ID Vaid told TOI on phone from Ghaziabad that the two officers were accused of fraudulently including a strip of 105 sq metres of land into the residential scheme which was then allotted to individuals at throwaway prices by violating norms.

The CBI probe revealed allotment of Noida land to then UP chief secretary Mata Prasad’s son, apart from top civil servants including former Union cabinet secretaries Surendra K Singh and TSR Subramaniam.

Yadav cornered four plots for her two daughters, husband and herself. One of these measuring 500 sq metres has a palatial bungalow. CBI claims the properties are worth crores. The CBI also found that Yadav’s husband, Mahendra Singh, owns real estate in London and Glasgow. In India, the family allegedly owns properties in Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad and Lucknow in UP apart from Bangalore and Mumbai