CBI takes over probe into Yamuna Expressway scam; books ex-CEO, 20 others

Security personnel stand guard outside the CBI headquarters, in Bengaluru, Friday, Oct 26, 2018. Congress party workers and leaders (unseen) stage a protest demanding the reinstatement of CBI Director Alok Verma outside the CBI office | Photo: PTI

The CBI has taken over the investigation into the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) land scam case and named former CEO P C Gupta and 20 others in its FIR, officials said on Wednesday.

According to procedure, the agency has re-registered the Uttar Pradesh Police's FIR that alleges YEIDA had paid Rs 85.49 crore for 57.15 acre of land in seven villages in Mathura for development activities around the 165-km long expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra, they said.

Police had alleged that Gupta in criminal conspiracy with his relatives and associates first purchased the land from farmers and later sold it to YEIDA within four to six months of their purchase, causing loss to the exchequer.

The YEIDA in its internal investigation had pegged a reported loss of Rs 126 crore to the exchequer, but the FIR refers to the payment of Rs 85.49 crore from the authority to alleged cronies of Gupta, who was CEO during 2013-15. He has served in YEIDA as additional CEO and deputy CEO.

The police report, now part of the CBI FIR, states that Gupta's relatives and cronies allegedly purchased land at cheaper rates through sham companies and sold it more than twice their purchase price to YEIDA causing losses to the exchequer, they said.

The report also states that there was no utility of these lands for the authority and they still remain unused, the officials said.

The lands were mostly purchased during 2013-2015 when the Samajwadi Party was in power in Uttar Pradesh.

On July 24 last year, the state government had recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities and it was forwarded to the agency by the Centre after 15 months on October 24.

The CBI has registered the case under charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating, and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act on Tuesday afternoon, the officials said.

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