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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

UP Lokayukta gives clean chit to Mayawati in Noida farmhouse scam

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times   Lucknow, November 12, 2013
First Published: 19:58 IST(12/11/2013) | Last Updated: 20:00 IST(12/11/2013)

Uttar Pradesh lokayukta justice (retired) NK Mehrotra gave a clean chit to former UP chief minister Mayawati in the Noida farmhouse scam, saying the accusation of wrongdoing wasn’t supported by credible evidence.

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However, he urged the state government to access documents of people who were allotted farmhouses and check for misrepresentation of facts. The lokayukta found no role of the CM in the allotment process.

In 2009, authorities had invited applications for farmhouse allotment in Noida. Out of the 302 applications received, only 152 were successful; Mayawati’s sister-in-law was among the beneficiaries.

The lokayukta report says the Noida authority didn’t suffer any financial loss, and that the farmhouses weren't sold to earn a profit. A loss of R300 crores had been alleged previously.

“No rules or regulation has been allotted by Noida authority for allotment of land or farmhouses. Instead, since 1983, applicants are called for an interview and the discretion of the allotment committee is final. The committee can allot more than one farmhouse or plot of land to an applicant,” Mehrotra told HT.

Officers who allotted the farmhouses have also been cleared. “Mere accusation was leveled against the officers” Mehrotra said “when I told them to give evidence they failed to respond”.

The authority was free to use the land for any commercial activity, Mehrotra added.

The Samajwadi Party government directed then Noida development authority chairman Rakesh Bahadur to conduct an enquiry on May 16, 2012. After receiving Bahadur’s report, the enquiry was referred to the lokayukta. Neither Rakesh Bahadur nor then CEO Noida, Sanjiv Saran produced any evidence to support the accusation of irregularity, Mehrotra said.

The lokayukta has recommended framing of new regulations for allotment of land or house in Noida and checking discretionary powers of allotment committees. “There is also hope for the 150 applicants who couldn’t get farmhouses. I have urged the state government to permit them to make a fresh representation and the eligible ones can be considered,” Mehrotra said.

A senior state government officer said action will be taken against officers if it was found that the allocation of farmhouses was done on the basis of false documents.


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