HC upholds decision to remove top Noida officials

In a setback to Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday dismissed a review application challenging its order directing removal of two tainted IAS officers from key posts in Noida.

A division bench comprising justices Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra and Pradeep Kumar Singh Baghel also directed the CBI to submit its investigation report into corruption charges against Noida chairman Rakesh Bahadur and former CEO Sanjeev Saran by March 31.

The court also vacated the stay it had imposed on contempt proceedings underway before another bench wherein the state government has been accused of non-compliance of the November 8, 2012 order on removing the two officers.

The court had on January 31 stayed the contempt proceedings besides reserving its judgement on the review application.

It had also restrained Noida Chairman Rakesh Bahadur from exercising any financial powers and taking any policy decisions.

The November 8 order had ordered the removal of Bahadur, besides the then CEO of Noida Sanjeev Saran, and issued directions to the state government that they be posted ‘outside western Uttar Pradesh’ as their presence in the region could affect the investigations.

The two officers have been accused of financial wrongdoings during 2005-07 when they held the same posts during the chief ministership of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Cases were lodged against them in 2009 when the state was under the rule of BSP supremo Mayawati and the two bureaucrats also remained under suspension for a long time.

However, soon after the Samajwadi Party returned to power after the assembly elections held last year and the SP supremo’s son Akhilesh Yadav became the new chief minister, the two officers were posted to the same respective posts which was challenged before the High Court in a Public Interest Litigation filed by a social organisation Madhav Samaj Nirman Samiti. Saran was removed from the post of Noida CEO in an administrative reshuffle last month.

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