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CBI launches probe into YEIDA land scam

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Land allegedly bought at twice the rate.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the probe into an alleged ₹126-crore scam in the acquisition of land in Uttar Pradesh's Mathra for the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA). Its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) P.C. Gupta and 20 others are accused in the case.

Over 57 hectares of land has been acquired in the seven villages of Mathura for ₹85.49 crore. An internal probe revealed that months ahead of the acquisition, the associates and relatives of YEIDA officials and sham companies had purchased the land parcels from villagers.

It is alleged that the land was acquired for YEIDA projects at more than two times the authorised rates.

The case was initially registered at the Kasna police station in Uttar Pradesh on June 3, 2018, after an internal inquiry was conducted into the allegations of financial irregularities. Days later, the police arrested Mr. Gupta at Datia in Madhya Pradesh and others accused in the case Subsequently, several others were arrested. The State later referred the case to the CBI.

Among those named in the FIR are the then YEIDA CEO, local revenue official Suresh Chand Sharma, and persons from whom the land was bought by the Authority for its projects along the Yamuna Expressway.

The beneficiaries were residents of different cities, including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Noida, Meerut and Agra in U.P. The FIR mentions that one of them, Swadesh Gupta, was a relative of Mr. Gupta and a 0.97 hectare land was bought from him for ₹1.62 crore.

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The protocol was not followed and advertisements for acquisition were given in newspapers that did not have any circulation. Advertisements inviting any objection were also not published, the FIR alleges.

As it turned out, the acquired land parcels were scattered and therefore, most of them could not be used for constructing exit-and-entry ramps on the expressway as part of the projects. This also led to financial losses.

Mr. P.C. Gupta was YEIDA CEO from April 2013 to June 2015. He had earlier also worked as Additional CEO and Deputy CEO of the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:06:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cbi-launches-probe-into-yeida-land-scam/article30397181.ece

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