The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flex chief cases gain pace

New Delhi, Nov. 28: The brief lull is over in the CBI probe against Flex Industries chairman Ashok Chaturvedi.

While the bureau will chargesheet Chaturvedi soon in the much-publicised case of bribing former Delhi chief central excise commissioner Someshwar Mishra, the CBI designated court in Ghaziabad has taken cognisance of another chargesheet filed against him in the Noida land allotment scam.

The Ghaziabad court has fixed December 7 as the next date of hearing after taking cognisance of the chargesheet, which also indicts former Noida Development Authority chief Neera Yadav, besides Chaturvedi, for their involvement in the land scam.

Investigations into the case revealed that Yadav had allegedly shown undue favour to the Flex chairman while allotting two plots measuring 20,000 and 8,000 square metres to his two companies, Flex Industries Limited and Flex Engineering Limited.

CBI sources alleged that the subsidised land allotment resulted in a loss of Rs 1.12 crore to the Noida authority, which decided to allot land to group housing societies, industries and institutions in March 1994. Chaturvedi’s firms were among the six applicants.

The bureau has accused Yadav of arbitrarily changing Corporate Group Housing Scheme eligibility conditions to enable Flex to corner the plots. Investigators found that Yadav personally processed the Flex applications while the remaining four were not considered at all.

The Noida chief also relaxed Flex’s terms of payment.

The CBI registered the case on February 26, 1998, on the directives of the Supreme Court.

The bureau will chargesheet Chaturvedi for paying a Rs 5-lakh bribe to the chief central excise commissioner. Both were caught red-handed during the transaction.

The investigating agency had prior information on the payoff as it had taped a telephone conversation between the two.

It also recovered another Rs 5 lakh in cash, which was to have been delivered at Mishra’s residence, from a Flex Industries vehicle.

The CBI case sparked a public outcry, prompting Jharkhand Governor Prabhat Kumar to resign following media reports that Chaturvedi had paid the bills for a party hosted by Kumar.

Sources said investigation into the case was complete and the bureau’s legal department was scrutinising the facts before it filed a chargesheet in a city court.

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