Land scam: HC summons documents

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Lucknow, Sep 28 (UNI) Hearing an amendment plea challenging September 27 probe report and seeking non-registration of cases against three senior Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) officials accused of gross irregularities in the allotment of 28 plots in the prime Vipul Khand area of the Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court today summoned documents in this regard on October 8.

The bench questioned Additional Attorney General Devendra Arora, present on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, to state the reason behind handing over the probe report to the government in just one month, when the case was already pending before the Supreme Court.

Mr Arora brought to the notice of the court that at present, no action was being taken in this regard.

Directing the state government to present all the concerned documents on October 8, the next hearing date, the court gave three days, time to reply on the revised plea of Shiv Singh Yadav.

The Uttar Pradesh government was on Wednesday recommended to scrap the allotment of all the 28 plots in the prime Vipul Khand area, which was alloted by the LDA during the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government in 2005.

Lucknow commissioner Vijay Shanker Pandey, who had been entrusted by the Mayawati government to probe the matter, submitted his report to the government with the recommendations.

The probe committee also suggested action against three senior officials -- the then housing secretary K L Meena, Secretary LDA Rekha Gupta and LDA vice-chairman B B Singh -- for the irregularities.

The petitioner had claimed that since several cases were pending against Mr Pandey, some other agency should be given the responsibility to investigate the case once again.

He also demanded from the court to direct non-registration of cases against the three accused officials.

Earlier on September 12, 2005, the Supreme Court had restrained 28 allottees including Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh and some other politicians and bureaucrats, who had been allotted plot by the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government in prime locality in Gomti Nagar from transferring the plots to them.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relating to the LDA land lease scam had alleged that Amar Singh was allotted a plot under the Economically Weaker Section Scheme at the behest of then Chief Minister.

The petition filed by Allahabad-based advocate Vishwanath Chaturvedi, had sought cancellation of 28 plots allegedly allotted to them at prime locality Vipul Khand, alleging they had been allotted the plots illegally, arbitrarly and in corrupt manner on the instructions of then Chief Minister and his close aid.

The petitioner had claimed that the plots were allotted to the near and dear ones of politicians and bureaucrats at the price below the prevailing market rate allegedly under the instruction of Singh, Shiv Pal Singh Yadav, state Agriculture Minister, Anita Singh, Special Secretary to Chief Minister and the Chairman of LDA.

The PIL sought constitution of a committee consisting of a retired judge of the apex Court to go into the veracity of the allotment of plots or a probe by CBI to fix the responsibility of individuals responsible for allotment illegally.

Prominent persons, who had been allotted land comprised R C S Rawat, father-in-law of Mulayam's son Akhilesh, Anita Singh, Special Secretary to the then Chief Minister and her husband Subhash Chandra.

UNI

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