In less than a week after appointing Rakesh Bahadur as chairman and Sanjeev Saran as chief executive officer (CEO) at the Noida authority, the state government has began collecting facts regarding the status of departmental proceedings against the duo.
Both IAS officers were posted at the Noida authority in the same capacities during the last Samajwadi Party government which was in power between 2003 and 2007.
Two years after Mayawati came to power, her government in 2009 suspended and charge-sheeted the two and many others for irregularities – alleged to be to the tune of more than Rs. 4,000 crore – in allotment of plots for setting up of hotels in Noida ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Though the Supreme Court last year upheld the allotment, with certain riders, the two could be reinstated only on the eve of the last Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The Mayawati government alleged officials put hotels under the "industry category" instead of the "commercial category and caused a loss of Rs. 4,721 crore by selling commercial land at industrial sector rates and cancelled the allotment.
"The chief minister has himself made the postings. So there is no question of doubting the credentials of these two officials or indicting them. We are simply collecting facts on the status of the cases. It's not only about these two alone. Facts are being collected about all those who were made accused," said a top official, requesting anonymity.
"After the allotments were cancelled, the hotels in July, 2011 moved the Supreme Court, which ruled that no nepotism, corruption or favouritism took place," he said.
"The authority headed by Bahudur and Saran had only approved and adopted a policy and implemented a government decision," he said.
After a case was registered against current and former authority officials, including four IAS officers, the state government in 2009 suspended 16 officials.
Days later, cases were lodged with sector 20 police station on a government order. The investigation was later transferred from Noida police to the economic offence wing. The accused have got stay on their arrest from court.