The Allahabad high court on Monday granted bail to former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Neera Yadav and industrialist Ashok Chaturvedi, sentenced to four years imprisonment in a Noida land scam case last week.
Justice Vinod Prasad passed the order on bail petitions of Yadav, who had been held guilty for irregularities in allotment of industrial land plots in NOIDA while she was the CEO of NOIDA Authority in the 1990s, and Chaturvedi, who owns Flex Industries.
62-year-old Yadav and Chaturvedi, 57, were lodged in the high-security Dasna jail in Ghaziabad on December 7. The high court had on Friday put off till Monday its decision on the their petitions.
The Central Bureau of Investigation special court had convicted the two under Section 13 Prevention of Corruption Act and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
A 1971 batch Indian Administrative Services officer, Yadav was chief secretary during the chief ministership of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
She had earned the dubious distinction of being the country's first IAS officer to be removed from the chief secretary's post by the Supreme Court on charges of corruption in 2005.
She was also tagged as one of the "most corrupt officers" in a poll held by UP IAS association in 1997. "I have full regard for the honourable court but I am innocent... I don't feel I have committed any wrong during the tenure of my service as an IAS officer," Yadav, who took voluntary retirement in 2007, had told reporters after the trial court order.
The CBI chargesheeted her in 2002 in at least four graft cases and since then they were pending in the court.
She had been charged with allotting plots out of turn to bureaucrats, politicians, industrialists and her near and dear ones. Judge A K Singh, however, had acquitted Yadav in a second land scam case relating to allotment of land to Dr Mahesh Chand Sharma, chairman of Kailash Hospital in Noida. Sharma was also acquitted in the case.