The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the Allahabad High Court order, issuing a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Noida Chief Executive Officer Ritu Maheshwari in a contempt case in connection with a land acquisition matter.
Senior advocate A.N.S. Nadkarni, representing the Noida CEO, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that his client’s flight was delayed due to which she could not appear in time before the high court.
The bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and Dipankar Datta, said the appeal by Maheshwari is allowed and set aside the high court order.
Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, representing those whose land was acquired by Noida, contended that no money has been paid to the farmers till date, and added farmers wanted early disposal of their case. The counsel said farmers were also not interested in the arrest warrant against the NOida CEO.
The bench said the senior-most officer of Noida, just below CEO in hierarchy along with the officer-in-charge for the land acquisition in Noida, would appear before the Allahabad High Court. The bench said these officers will assist the high court in dealing with the contempt case arising out of the land acquisition matter and the issues in connection with the payment of compensation to farmers. It also asked the high court to expeditiously decide the contempt case.
In April, the high court sought Noida CEO’s personal appearance and then issued an NBW seeking her presence before it in police custody on May 13. The apex court stayed this order on May 10.