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Allahabad High Court issues non-bailable warrant against Noida Authority CEO

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The Allahabad High Court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Noida Authority CEO Ritu Maheshwari.

A single-judge bench of Justice Saral Srivastava passed this order while hearing a Contempt Application filed by Manorama Kuchhal And Another.

The applicants have alleged the violation of order dated 19.12.2016 passed by the Court.

In this matter, the Court on 28.04.2022 directed the matter to be listed on 04.05.2022 and Opposite Party no10- Ritu Maheshwari, Chief Executive Officer, New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA), Gautam Budh Nagar was directed to remain present before the Court. But despite the summoning order passed by the Court on 28.04.2022, the Noida Authority CEO was not present before the Court when the matter was taken up.

On a query raised by the Court to Ravindra Srivastava, counsel for the opposite party that which flight the CEO had taken for Allahabad, the Court was informed that her flight was at 10:30 am.

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She was supposed to be here at 10:00 am, therefore, the Court cannot countenance the conduct of the CEO in taking flight after the functioning of the Court starts and expected the Court to wait for her and take up the matter after she reaches the Court. This conduct of CEO is reprehensible and amounts to contempt of Courts, in as much as she has been summoned by the Court in a contempt proceeding for non-compliance of an order passed by Writ Court, the Court said.

The Court noted,

It is pertinent to note that admittedly, the land of the applicants had been taken over by the NOIDA in 1990 without following any procedure as contemplated in law and Writ Court while allowing the writ petition of the applicants has deprecated the conduct of the NOIDA in taking over the possession of the property and changing the nature of the property by raising construction illegally over the property.

The order of Writ Court has not been complied with and in such view of the fact, when the Court has passed an order for appearance of CEO NOIDA, she was expected to be present in Court when the functioning of the Court starts at 10:00 a.m rather she choose to take flight at 10:30 a.m from Delhi deliberately with an expectation that the Court will take up the matter as per her convenience.

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“Considering the fact that the order of Writ Court has not been complied with despite the fact that the possession of the land of the applicants had been taken over by the NOIDA illegally in the year 1990 without paying even a single penny as compensation, and the applicants despite succeeding in the Court in the writ petition and Special Leave Petition against the judgment of Writ Court having been dismissed, have not been able to reap the benefit of the judgement of the Writ Court, and when the Court has summoned the CEO, NOIDA in contempt proceeding, she did not appear before the Court when the matter was taken up which led her counsel to request the Court not to take up the matter till she reaches the Court as her flight is delayed, this Court finds that such conduct of CEO, NOIDA amounts to deliberate and willful disrespect to the Court, as the Officer of the rank of Chief Executive Officer of a Corporation expected the Court to take up the matter at her mercy, therefore, this Court finds it to be a fit case where non-bailable warrant be issued against the CEO, NOIDA”

-the Court observed.

In view of the fact, the Court issued a non-bailable warrant against Ritu Maheshwari, Chief Executive Officer, New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA), Gautam Budh Nagar through the CJM concerned.

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“Let a copy of the order be communicated to CJM concerned by the Registrar (Compliance) within 48 hours. List this case on 13.05.2022, on which date, opp. party no.10-Ms. Ritu Maheshwari, Chief Executive Officer, New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA), Gautam Budh Nagar shall be brought in police custody before the Court”

-the Court ordered.

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