The Gautam Budh Nagar police on Tuesday night arrested a man in connection with cheating and forgery in the Rs 126-crore Yamuna Expressway land scam, the police said. A Bulandshahr native and lawyer Sanjeev Kumar Singh was the fifth person to be arrested in the land fraud case linked to the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA). The YEIDA had submitted a complaint regarding a land scam worth Rs 126 crore against 21 persons including an IAS officer who was a former CEO with YEIDA, at the Kasna police station of Greater Noida in June. The police had registered an FIR against PC Gupta, the former CEO of YEIDA, and the present tehsildaar Suresh Chandra Verma and others under IPC sections for fraud and cheating.
Singh, who was arrested on Tuesday, was the director of three firms — Data Infrastructure, ANG and Himalaya — involved in the fraud, the police said. “For ANG, he had got seven to eight land registries in his name, while he had personally invested Rs 70 lakh in the fraudulent deals,” Circle Officer, Greater Noida First Nishank Sharma said.
According to the police, the matter came to light when the authority conducted an inquiry in the suspected cases of land acquisition. Prabhat Kumar, the chairman of YEIDA, ordered the inquiry into the matter and based on the irregularities found, the authority filed a police complaint based on the directions given by the chairman and an FIR was registered.
Officials of the Yamuna Authority had said that the former CEO was involved in a land acquisition matter along with his family members and relatives allegedly purchased the land from farmers at lower rates and sold it to the authority at around double the rate, which caused a huge financial loss to the authority.
“The land that had been used in the scam was of no use but the then CEO of Yamuna Authority acquired the land in order to build an unnecessary entry-exit ramp under the Yamuna Expressway. The land was under the jurisdiction of YEIDA and was located in the Mathura district but neither the concessionaire of the expressway nor the authority felt any need to use the land. Based on the inquiry, it came to light that the land was purchased just for personal benefits,” the police said. The police also said that the officials have stated that around 57 hectare in the Bajna area of Mathura was purchased as a part of the land scam.
Gupta, who was appointed to the post in 2013, was arrested from Datia in Madhya Pradesh in June. Two directors of a builder’s firm and a middleman were held last week, the police said, adding that they are investigating the case and will soon ensure the arrest of the other accused.