Supreme Court: The bench of R. Banumathi and Kurian Joseph, JJ upheld the conviction of former UP Chief Secretary Neera Yadav and former IAS Officer Rajiv Kumar under Section 120-B IPC and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for being involved in the NOIDA land allocation scam during their tenure from January 1994 to December 1995. The Court, however, reduced the sentence from 3 years to 2 years imprisonment.
During her tenure, Neera Yadav, who served as the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of NOIDA during the said time, was alleged to be involved in conspiracy with other officials abused her position while committing grave irregularities in the matters of allotments and conversions of land in NOIDA. Based upon the evidence produced, the Court held that Neera Yadav abused her position as a public servant to benefit herself and her kith and kin. She not only made a mockery of rules and regulations of NOIDA, but also misused her position by completely neglecting her duties. Being a Chairman-cum-CEO of NOIDA she was expected to ensure that the allotment of plots in NOIDA are effected in strict compliance with the Rules and Regulations of NOIDA. However, the she herself bypassed the Rules and Regulations of NOIDA by submitting ante dated, half-filled applications for seeking allotment of plots and by not paying the total amount payable in lieu of the allotment.
Writing a separate judgment on the conviction of Rajiv Kumar, who served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NOIDA from June 1994 to December 1995, the Court noted that there is no doubt that Neera Yadav and Rajiv Kumar abused their position as a plot was converted from guest house to ‘residential’ and in violation of the norms and circulars, the same was allotted to the Rajiv Kumar to gain pecuniary advantage to him.
In light of the facts that the appellants Rajiv Kumar and Neera Yadav were undergoing sentence from 18.04.2016 and 14.03.2016 respectively, the subsequent Quashment of the allotment of the plots in question; the fact that the conviction has put their job and retiral benefits in jeopardy and that the incident dates back to 1994, the Court thought it fit to reduce the sentence from 3 years to 2 years imprisonment.
New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) was established in the year 1976 for developing and managing Asia’s largest Integrated Industrial Township for the industrial growth of the area. [Neera Yadav v. CBI, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 858 , decided on 02.08.2017]