Lawsuits on Lucknow land allotment scam transferred to apex court

February 16th, 2009 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday transferred from the Allahabad High Court to itself lawsuits by people close to former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who are defending the allotment of huge residential plots in Lucknow to themselves in 2005.

The over two dozen lawsuits that the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam transferred to itself included those by Mulayam Singh’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and his parliamentarian son Akhilesh Yadav’s father-in-law R.C.S. Rawat.

The bench transferred the lawsuit to itself on a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government, which cancelled the allotment of the plots in Lucknow’s upscale Gomati Nagar to several bigwigs close to the Samajwadi Party chief after Chief Minister Mayawati assumed power in mid-2007.

Others who were allotted plots by the Mulayam Singh government in the Lucknow locality included his special secretary Anita Singh and his principal secretary Anil Kumar.

Also in the list were Lucknow’s former senior superintendent of police Navneet Sikera, the state’s former special secretary Ram Vraksh Yadav and Preeti Choudhary, the wife of Jaunpur District Magistrate Anurag Yadav.

The Mayawati government sought the transfer of the beneficiaries’ petitions from the high court to the apex court saying that the Supreme Court was already seized of the matter owing to a public interest lawsuit, filed by Congress leader Vishvanath Chaturvedi. The case was now pending before the apex court.

Chaturvedi had demanded cancellation of the allegedly illegal allotment of the plots to politicians and bureaucrats - the apex court had earlier restrained the Lucknow Development Authority from transferring the plots to the people who were given the allotments in 2005.

Following media reports, Mulayam Singh ordered a judicial probe into the matter in 2005. But the judicial commission headed by a former high court judge never completed the probe despite getting three extensions of six months each.

Mayawati handed over the responsibility of the probe to Lucknow Division’s Commissioner Vijay Shankar Pandey after she took over.

Pandey completed his probe on Sep 25, 2007, and concluded that the state exchequer was defrauded of a sum of nearly Rs.29 million owing to illegal allotment of plots. He recommended the prosecution of several government officials.

He also sought prosecution of the politicians and bureaucrats who were allotted the plots.

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