Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How Mulayam Singh ‘gifted’ 270 Acres of prime land in Lucknow to Sahara

Shahara is not Be-Sahara

By Ajit Ujjainkar & Neeraj Mahajan

Who says Sahaha is be-sahara. He has many political friends who have always chipped in to bail him out of tight spot in the past but would they do so in the future as well is the big question?

Sahara Shree Subroto Roy, his wife Swapna Roy and other Shareholders of Sahara Group should be thankful to Mulayam Singh, Kalyan singh, Lalji Tandon and Mayawati – for the group’s phenomenal rise and growth of business in the regime of whichever political party was in power in Uttar Pradesh.

The then Chief Minister of UP CM Mulaym Singh Yadav allegedly ‘gifted’ 270 Acres of prime land in Gomatinagar locality of Lucknow behind Ambedkar Park to three Sahara Group Companies-- Sahara India Housing Limited, Sahara India Commercial Corporation ltd and Sahara India Financial Corporation ltd in 1994.

Some of these companies have a dubious track record. For instance Sahara Housing Investment Corp. Ltd which was offering 600% returns on units of Rs 1,000 over a 15-year period is under SEBI scanner. Sahara Housing Investment having an authorized capital of Rs100 crore was incorporated in 2004 and was known as Sahara India Trustee Co. Ltd (SITCL). SITCL was renamed Sahara Housing Investment Corp on 5 October and venturing into real estate, plots, residential buildings, houses/apartments and commercial office space. Around this time it also started issuing the optionally convertible housing bonds even though it is not a housing finance company and not registered with NHB (National Housing Bank). Its primary shareholders are Subroto Roy Sahara, his wife Swapna Roy and J.B. Roy who control 60% while Kumar Pandey holds 40% on behalf of Sahara India Financial Corp. Ltd. Similarly Sahara India Financial Corp. incorporated on March 9, 1993, as a public limited company has evolved into Sahara Prime City Ltd. The name of the company was changed to Sahara India Corp. Ltd, pursuant to a special resolution dated October 10, 1994… The name of the company was further changed to Sahara India Investment Corp. Ltd pursuant to a special resolution dated August 2, 2005… Subsequently, the name of the company was changed to Sahara Prime City Ltd pursuant to a special resolution dated February 11 2008.

This land forming part of khasra Nos. 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 307, 310, 311 & 312 in village Jiayamau Taluka [Tehsil] of Lucknow District  was legally allotted to “Yug Nirman Sahakari Awas Samiti” was registered U.P. Cooperative Societies Act, 1966 (Regn. No. 660). The 834 members had purchased the land directly from the farmers of Jiayamau village for residential purpose. The society members were the legal owners of the land.

That is till the Mulayam Singh government ignoring all provisions of law issued a notification for acquisition of lands of Jiyamau village vide its Gazette notification No. 2537/11—5—87---49—L.A—87 dated 26 May, 1987 [26.5.1987] under section 4 of the L.A. Act, 1894 invoking the urgency provision under 17 of the L.A. Act, 8194 for the purpose of Ujariyan Awasiy Yojna Part-5 in Lucknow. This notification never published in any newspaper and later revoked without assigning any reason whatsoever.
However when the housing society members started constructing residential houses on their plots, the Government came up with another notification for acquisition of lands of Jiyamau village vide Gazette notification No. 1328/9—Aa—3—93--7 L.A—87 dated 2 April, 1993 [2.4.1993] under section 4 of the L.A. Act, 1894. This notification was published in Swatantra Bharat on 14.8.1993.

This was allegedly a premeditated plan to help Sahara and Subroto Roy gain control over the prime land – with the blessings of Mulayam Singh.

Acting on a petition filed by Yug Nirman Sahakari Awas Samiti challenging the notification, the Lucknow High court bench ordered “status quo” to be maintained in the said lands vide W.P. No. 5219 of 1993 {LANA} Yug Nirman Sahakari Awas Samiti Lucknow Versus State of U.P. & others on 03.12.1993. 

However even during the interim order was in force the Lucknow Nagar Nigam [LMC] on 22.10.1994 transferred 130 Acres lands out of total 270 Acres of lands of Jiyamau to Sahara India Housing Limited for commercial & residential purposes on the basis of a lease deed on Rs.100/stamp paper. This amounts to contempt of court. Some of the members of the society have filed Writ Petition No. 5219 of 1993 under Article 215 of the Constitution. 

Interestingly while the government notification U/S 4 tried to invoked urgency provision U/S 17 of the L. A. Act, 1894 for the purpose of “Ujariyan housing Yojna Gomatinagar Part-5, Lucknow, the same lands were immediately transferred to subrato Roy’s company. This clearly shows that either there was no urgency or the then CM Mulaym Singh Yadav allegedly had a vested interest in the transaction.  

Another big lacuna that many people seem to have ignored is that the said 130 Acres land was transferred to Subrato Roy’s Company on 22.10.1994. Almost two months before it was acquisitioned on 23.12.1994. This makes the whole transaction illegal and void.

Not only Subroto Roy, during his tenure as CM Mulayam Singh Yadav allegedly favoured many powerful and mighty persons get plots in L.D.A. Some such beneficiaries include Madhulika Mittal wife and Gaurav Mittal son of D.K. Mittal IAS and Dr Mridula Kamboj W/O Dr B P Kamboj.  

As one of the biggest beneficiary of Mulayam Singh regime the official machinery was allegedly used to help Subrato Roy gain various legal benefits. Thanks to the good office of then CM of UP Mulayam Singh Yadav all the local authorities helped Subrato Roy to get legal relief in R.S. Nos. 308/ 1997: 312/1997; 279/1997 & 120/1998.

Later Kumari Mayawati ordered demolishion of the Sahara Saher built on 270 Acres of land but this too proved to be nothing a political stunt for public consumption. Sahara Shehr remains where it is today – though Mayawati is no more the CM.

Even during Kalyan Singh government’s tenure – good friends like Lalji Tandon were always at hand to sort out the hurdles in Subroto Roy’s path.

Moral of the story: governments may come and go the nexus money and politics will always paint the town red and blue!!