CBI probe into irregular allotment of Noida plots upheld


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Thursday upheld an order for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the irregular allotment of 1,250 residential plots in Noida to a host of prominent personalities in 2005.

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Upholding an October 2005 ruling of the Allahabad High Court, a bench of Justices H.K. Sema and Aftab Alam also endorsed the cancellation of plots and holding of a fresh draw.

In late 2004, the Noida Authority had mooted a housing scheme for common citizens of the country and had invited applications for the allotment of 1,250 plots – of various sizes ranging from 100 sq m to 500 sq m in various sectors in the satellite town on the outskirts of the national capital.

The application fee for the applicants was fixed at Rs.100,000 or more depending upon the size of the plot. There was overwhelming participation with a million applicants.

The draw for allotment was supposed to be held within three months of the last date of application, Dec 31, 2004. But when it was eventually held after repeated postponements, only the influential from amongst the executive, the legislature and the judiciary and a few from the media could make it.

People who were allotted the plots included former chief justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal’s daughter-in-Law Sheeba Sabharwal, Samajwadi Party MPs Toofani Saroj, Rewati Raman Singh, Rasheed Masood and Jai Prakash.

Others included state legislators, senior bureaucrats, police officers and lawyers.

Following a hue and cry in the media, Noida Authority cancelled the entire allotment. On some public interest lawsuits, the Allahabad High Court ordered a CBI probe into the matter to fix the criminal liability of officials and politicians in the scam.