After his adverse comments cost two UP ministers their jobs, lokayukta justice (retired) NK Mehrotra has ordered an enquiry into the alleged R8,000-crore land scam in Noida on the complaint of a BJP leader.
The lokayukta visited Noida on Monday for an on-the-spot inspection of the land allotment and spoke to farmers and officials. He directed Noida authority chairman Balwinder Kumar to provide related documents on the issue by November 1.
Talking to HT, justice Mehrotra said: “I have done a preliminary inquiry into the land scam.” The spot inspection was to verify the charges made by BJP leader and former MP Kirit Somaiya in his complaint.The lokayukta said: "I have told Somaiya to reply to a few queries on his report. I am yet to receive a reply from him." Somaiya had submitted documents to the lokayukta on October 8, seeking a probe into what he said was a massive land scam in which six bureaucrats were supposedly involved.
He said ignoring the market prices, 73 plots for group housing worth R16,000 crore were sold to some builders at R8,131 crore. “Nearly 38.22 lakh square metres of land was sold in 2009-10 by handpicked officers in a scandalous manner in a non-transparent way without involving big and major players in the reality sector,” he had said, adding that this had been happening over the past 23 months.
The BJP leader said the allotments were at prices lower than even the circle rates (the circle rate is one below which a plot cannot be sold).
RTI queries revealed 17 companies were created with different names but most had the same addresses, he said.
After the lokayukta indictment this month, education minister Rangnath Mishra had been removed on corruption charges. Also, animal husbandry and dairy development Awadhpal Singh Yadav was dismissed in August following sharp comments from the lokayukta.