SC to examine whether NOIDA is a corporation under UP law

SC to examine whether NOIDA is a corporation under UP law
SC to examine whether NOIDA is a corporation under UP law

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a plea of the income tax department whether the North Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) is a corporation established by the Uttar Pradesh government under the state industrial development law or not.

A bench of Justices R K Aggarwal and A M Sapre has said it will look into the appeal filed by the I-T department against an order of the Allahabad High Court which held that NOIDA is a corporation established under the Act and, therefore, banks are not liable to deduct income tax at source on fixed deposits.

The apex court has also refused to grant any stay on the high court direction to the I-T department and asked the banks to file their counter affidavit in four weeks.

Appearing for Punjab National Bank, counsel Pankaj Garg, assisted by another lawyer Milind Garg, told the bench that the appeal of the I-T department is not maintainable as NOIDA is a corporation established by the state law and banks are not under the statutory obligation to deduct and pay the income tax.

The dispute on the issue first arose in 2013, when the I-T department imposed a tax liability on the banks for non- deduction of TDS on the interest income on fixed deposit receipts (FDRs) of NOIDA.

Against the decision to levy tax, the banks preferred an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) (CIT-A), saying the NOIDA is a corporation.

The appeal was decided in favour of the banks and, thereafter, the department preferred a petition before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), which again decided in the favour of the banks.

The department then moved the Allahabad High Court against the order of the ITAT, but once again the appeal was decided against it.

The IT department appeal before the apex court has said that the issue for consideration is whether NOIDA is a corporation entitled for exemption from deduction of income tax at source under the provisions of a notification issued in 1970 under the Income Tax Act.

It has said that the high court erred in holding that NOIDA is covered under exemption from TDS under the Income Tax Act and the assesse banks are not liable to deduct tax at source on interest paid to the NOIDA on its FDRs.

( Source – PTI )

Gangrape: 9 men acquitted due to botched up probe

Gangrape: 9 men acquitted due to botched up probe
Gangrape: 9 men acquitted due to botched up probe

A Noida police officer left “no stone unturned” to botch up investigation in a 2009 case of gangrape of a 24-year-old MBA student that has led to the acquittal of nine persons by a Delhi court on the grounds that the identity of the real culprits could not be proved.

The court pulled up the police for not following proper procedure of law while investigating the matter and said no judicial Test Identification Parade (TIP) of the accused was conducted by the investigating officer (IO).

The court held that the IO had left “no stone unturned for making this case impossible to be proved” and directed Noida Senior Superintendent of Police to take appropriate action against IO, inspector Anil Samaniya, for his improper probe in the case.

“These factors clearly show that due to the negligent, casual and unprofessional investigation conducted by the IO, real culprits of the case could not be identified/arrested or subjected to administration of justice,” Additional Sessions Judge Shail Jain said, adding that this was “a classic case” of botched up investigation carried out by the IO.

However, the judge was all praise for Special Public Prosecutor Neelam Narang, saying she provided valuable, substantial and useful help in explaining the lengthy case in a summarised manner.

Though the girl had identified all the accused before the court during the recording of her testimony, the judge said their identification by her was “doubtful” as the alleged crime was committed in the night in a forest area where there was no source of light.

According to the prosecution, the incident took place on the evening of January 5, 2009, when the girl along with her male friend, was returning from the Great India Place Mall in their car which was forcibly stopped by several youths who were returning on their motorcycles after a cricket match.

Brandishing cricket bats, four of these boys sat in the car and started beating the girl and her friend, pushed them to the back seat and drove the car to a secluded place near urban Noida village Garhi Chaukhandi, police said.

At the isolated place, their other associates also joined and 11 persons allegedly gangraped the girl and took away their valuables like mobile phones, wrist watch and ATM cards, it said. The complaint was lodged with the Noida Police by the victim’s friend.

The accused in the case were Pushpender alias Tuiyan, Srikant, Sanjay, Gautam, Sudhir, Little, Omkar and Pushpender, Sashikant, Golu and a juvenile, all residents of Garhi Chaukhandi. All of them were on bail, while accused Pushpinder alias Tuiyan died during the trial.

( Source – PTI )

SC notice to CBI on plea of UP’s ex-babu in plot scam

SC notice to CBI on plea of UP's ex-babu in plot scam
SC notice to CBI on plea of UP’s ex-babu in plot scam

The Supreme Court today sought the CBI’s response on an appeal against a Allahabad High Court order upholding the conviction of Uttar Pradesh’s former chief secretary Neera Yadav in the Noida plot scam.

A bench headed by Justice P C Ghose issued notice to CBI and tagged her petition challenging the Allahabad High Court order of 2010, upholding her conviction and four year sentence with other related petitions pending before the apex court.

“Issue notice to respondents (CBI). The main petition is tagged with other matters pending before other bench,” the bench also comprising Justice Amitava Roy said.

Yadav had surrendered on March 14 before a CBI court in Ghaziabad after her appeal was dismissed and conviction upheld by the Allahabad high court. She had moved the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court order upholding her conviction and also sought bail.

A CBI court in Ghaziabad had convicted Yadav and senior IAS officer Rajeev Kumar in 2012 in a Noida plot scam that took place between 1994 and 1995 and sentenced them to three years’ imprisonment.

Yadav was the CEO of Noida Authority at the time of scam and Kumar was her deputy.

The 1971 batch IAS officer, Yadav, who went on to become UP’s first woman chief secretary during the Samajwadi’s government in 2005, took voluntary retirement in 2008.

The CBI probe was ordered by the Supreme Court on a petition filed by one Noida Entrepreneurs Association in 1997.

( Source – PTI )

Sports City in Noida: NGT seeks Centre’s response

Sports City in NoidaThe Centre was today directed by the National Green Tribunal to file its response on a petition alleging that an upcoming housing project, Sports City, in Sector 150 of Noida was against the prescribed norms of Noida Master Plan-2031.

A green bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) besides others and fixed the matter for next hearing on August 11.

“Issue notice to the MoEF, Noida, National Capital Region Planning Board…,” the bench said.

The tribunal’s order came over a petition filed by Mahendra Pandey.

During the hearing, Pandey’s counsel Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal claimed that Uttar Pradesh and in particular the Noida Authority has issued the scheme of Sports City, Noida, “without obtaining mandatory approval of its sub regional plan (Draft Master Plan-2031) from the NCRPB.

According to the petitioner “as per NCRPB Act 1985, no authority has the power to change the nature of the land and hence the change of land use of a part of proposed Sports City (from Recreational Green to Residential) is against the law of the land.”

The petition alleges that “while drafting the proposed scheme of the Sports City the Noida authority has favoured the builder lobby instead of taking care and protection of the Environment and thus the claim of the Noida Authority to provide the World Class Sports City is nothing but an eyewash.

Aarushi murder: Talwars question CBI’s right to oppose their plea

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, parents of murdered teenager Aarushi Talwar, Friday questioned the right of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to oppose their plea before the Allahabad High Court to be discharged in the three-year old sensational murder case of their daughter.

After hearing the arguments by senior advocate Gopal Chaturvedi, the bench of Justice B.K. Narayana fixed Monday for the next hearing of the case

Chaturvedi told  ‘We have questioned the CBI’s right to oppose our plea on the ground that the investigating agency must first decide whether it supports its own closure report or the order of the special Ghaziabad court, whereby Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were charged with their own daughter’s murder.’

‘We have also sought to draw the attention of the court to the half-baked investigation carried out by CBI, which was why further investigation was required in the case.’

The 14-year-old Aarushi, a Class 9 student of Delhi Public School, Noida, was found murdered under mysterious circumstances in her parents’ Jalvayu Vihar Apartment in Noida May 16, 2008.

Their domestic help Hemraj was initially suspected for the killing, but his body was found on the flat’s terrace a day later.

The CBI submitted its closure report Dec 29 last year.

Ghaziabad-based Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judicial Magistrate Preeti Singh had ordered Feb 9 that the Talwars be charged with murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy.

Apex court permits construction of Ambedkar park in Noida

In a major relief to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the Supreme Court Friday cleared the construction of Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar Park in Noida subject to certain conditionalities.

The apex court forest bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan in its ruling said only 25 percent of the total area of the park could have ‘pucca’ construction (hard landscaping). Another 25 percent would be covered with soft landscaping like grass and shrubs.In the remaining 50 percent land, the court has directed the planting of trees.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Aftab Alam said the area on which the park was being built was not a forest land. Mere existence of a certain number of trees in an area would not make it a forest, he said.

The court has directed a monitoring committee be set up, which will have an omithologist (bird specialist) from the environment and forest ministry, one member from apex court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NOIDA (New Okhla Industrial Development Authority), a suburb of the national capital in Uttar Pradesh.

The monitoring committee will oversee the compliance of the conditionalities set out by the apex court for the completion of the Noida Park.

The apex court has voiced its concern for the Noida bird sanctuary. The court observed that though the Uttar Pradesh government has not adopted the Environment Impact Assessment notification, its mere absence cannot prevent it from not taking cognisance of the situation.

The bench said that Article 21 provides for the right to clean environment and the same could be invoked to address the situation.