Ghaziabad: A former chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh was on Tuesday held guilty of wrongfully allotting a plot during her tenure as Noida authority chief and sentenced to four years' imprisonment by a court here.
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court found Neera Yadav, a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, guilty of violating the rules in allotting the industrial plot in Noida to Flex Industries Limited in 1994-95.
Flex Industries chairman Ashok Chaturvedi was also held guilty and sentenced to four years' imprisonment.
A writ petition filed in 1997 had alleged that during her tenure as CEO-cum-chairperson of the Noida authority large-scale bungling came into existence in different sectors and in commercial Sector 18 in Noida.
The CBI had registered the case against her on the orders of the Supreme Court.
After the pronouncement of the judgement, Yadav and Chaturvedi were sent to the Dasna District Jail. While Chaturvedi was handcuffed, Yadav was spared.
Yadav was found guilty of having violated the rules in allotting an industrial plot in Noida to Flex Industries. She had also been charged with allotting out of turn plots to bureaucrats, politicians, industrialists and her near and dear ones.
The petition against Yadav and others was filed by the Noida Entrepreneurs Association alleging bungling in the allotment of land in different sectors and in commercial Sector 18 in Noida during her tenure as head of Noida's Development Authority.
The former chief secretary, who was present in the court, broke down after the judge pronounced the verdict. She had earlier requested the court to give her a chair owing to her poor health. Chaturvedi was also there in the court.
The court, however, acquitted Yadav in a second case of land scam relating to allotment of land to to Dr Mahesh Chand Sharma, chairman of Kailash Hospital in Noida. Sharma was also acquitted in the case.
Neera had heaved a sigh of relief when the judge first pronounced her acquittal in the Kailash Hospital case but broke down after hearing the second verdict.
CBI had filed chargesheets against Yadav, Chaturvedi and Sharma and the cases were pending in the court for last over five years. Earlier they had been granted bail by the court.
Yadav, who was chief secretary during the chief ministership of Mulayam Singh Yadav, had earned the dubious distinction of being the country's first IAS officer to be removed from the chief secretary's post by the Supreme Court on charges of corruption.
Who is Neera Yadav
Neera Yadav has been a controversial figure throughout her 25-year career in the civil service. People who know her say she got away with whatever she did, because of her influence with UP's politicians.
During Mulayam Singh’s tenure she struck a chord with him and also switched sides to Mayawati when the Bahujan Samaj Party general secretary became chief minister.
That altered loyalty gave her additional charge of Greater NOIDA, the swiftly growing industrial township in the neighbourhood of the federal capital.
According to CBI, Neera Yadav obtained four NOIDA plots for two daughters, her husband and herself. On one plot measuring some 500 square metres in NOIDA's most expensive sector, a palatial bungalow is currently under construction. The CBI, it is learnt, estimates its cost at about Rs 7 million.
It is also alleged that the IAS officer owns property in Bulandshahar, Ghaziabad and Lucknow, besides Bangalore and Bombay.
Significantly, the CBI director's letter claims Yadav -- whose husband Mahendra Singh Yadav quit the IPS to become a BJP MLA -- owns real estate in London and Glasgow as well.