“Entire Noida Set Up Appears To Be Involved”: Apex Court Pulls Up State Of UP For Not Probing Noida Officials Over Wrongful Claims
The Supreme Court, in a Special Leave Petition, has pulled up the State of Uttar Pradesh for not investigating Noida Authorities-New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) officers, for paying compensation to the land owners, without any entitlement in law. The bench during the hearing, noting that the present case is not a standalone incident, observed that it could not have been done at the instance of a few officers. The SLP challenged an order of the Allahabad High Court which had rejected the anticipatory bail of the petitioner. However, the Apex Court while granting relief has directed the Interim order to continue till the next date of hearing.
In the present matter, a case is registered against two officers of Noida and one land owner to whom the compensation to the tune of Rs.7,26,80,427/- is alleged to have been wrongly paid without any entitlement, in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy.
A bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Dipankar Datta, observed, “During the course of hearing, it transpires that the reported case is not the sole instance and there are numerous cases in which the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority has paid compensation to the land owners, without any entitlement in law, prima facie for extraneous considerations…In our considered view, it cannot be done at the instance of one or two officers of the Authority. Prima facie, the entire Noida set up appears to be involved”.
Senior Advocate P.N. Misra appeared for the petitioner and Senior Advocate Ravindra Kumar, AAG Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad appeared for the respondents.
In the pertinent matter, the petitioner sought anticipatory bail for the offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B IPC, and Section 13(1)(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The High Court in the impugned order dated January 16, 2023, while dismissing the application under Section 438 CrPC had observed, “Looking at the said fact that the accused applicant recommended for higher compensation of Rs.7,26,80,427/- to the accused applicant on the incorrect and false ground that the appeal was pending in the High Court, this Court finds that the offences committed by the accused-applicant does not call for an order of granting him anticipatory bail. The accused applicant has allegedly caused wrongful loss to the Noida Authority and wrongful gain to himself and the said land owner”.
Therefore, noting the above factual matrix, the bench was of the opinion that it is necessary to refer the matter to some independent agency for a “deeper probe and to unearth the truth”.
However, on the same, the Additional Advocate General appearing on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh sought time to have instructions from the State Government.
Accordingly, the bench listed the matter for further hearing on October 5, 2023.
Cause Title: Virendra Singh Nagar v. State Of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.