HC directs UP principal secretary to conduct inquiry into GDA housing scheme
The direction was in response to a petition by a Ghaziabad resident claiming violation of regulations in restoration of 139 cancelled plots for GDA’s Swarn Jayanti Puram housing schemenoida Updated: Aug 25, 2017 21:55 IST
In an alleged case of norms violation in the restoration of cancelled plots in a housing scheme, the Allahabad high court directed the UP principal secretary to determine the market value of properties and ensure that loss to state government is recovered. The cancelled plots were restored from 2005 to 2007.
The directions came on a petition filed by Ghaziabad resident, who contended that there was a major violation of norms and connivance in the restoration of nearly 139 cancelled plots for Ghaziabad Development Authority’s (GDA) Swarn Jayanti Puram housing scheme.
The petition was filed by Rajendra Tyagi in 2011. In an interim hearing on August 21, the high court had called for the personal appearance of principal secretary (housing) Mukul Singhal and GDA’s vice-chairperson Kanchan Verma. According to norms, the restoration of previously cancelled plots was to be charged at 75% of the market value or the rate applicable to the scheme on the date of restoration, whichever is higher.
“We had contended that the restoration was not done as per norms and done on previously prevailing rates, raising suspicion that there was connivance of erstwhile GDA officers with private parties. We filed RTIs and got different numbers of lots under the scheme. We had submitted two complaints and the complete set of documents to the state government in 2006 and 2010. After this, an inquiry was conducted by then divisional commissioner. However, there was no clarity and later, we moved the high court,” Tyagi said.
In the last hearing, the high court directed, “We leave the matter at this stage at the hands of the principal secretary with the hope that he shall determine the market value of the properties in question and shall ensure that the loss caused to the state government is recovered.”
The high court took a tough stance in its August 21 order and said that the recovery must be made from the beneficiaries of the illegal restoration order of the development authority and also from the personal assets of the officers who had created the situation.
“If it is found that there has been a deliberate act on the part of the officers, whereby public money has been defalcated/lost including the loss of stamp duty then there should not be any hesitation in lodging of the first information report against all responsible (sic),” the court said.
“The state government must ensure action against the officers who deliberately cause loss to the public properties/public money. It is in this background that the Principal Secretary is directed to file an affidavit by August 31 after conducting an inquiry as may be required,” the court further said.
GDA vice-chairperson Kanchan Verma declined to comment and said that the matter was ‘subjudice.’
“We will submit our report in an affidavit to the high court on August 31,” said Singhal, who visited Ghaziabad on Friday.
The court directed the principal secretary to file an affidavit by August 31 after conducting an inquiry, as may be required disclosing the action proposed in the matter against the responsible persons.
First Published: Aug 25, 2017 21:40 IST