SC: Stay on NBW against NOIDA CEO to continue until further orders

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The Supreme Court on Friday said its earlier order of granting stay on non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against CEO NOIDA by the Allahabad High Court in a contempt case, will continue until further orders.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said: “Issue notice. The non-bailable warrants stayed by earlier order may be continued until further orders.”

The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing in July. Senior advocate Ravindra Kumar represented NOIDA CEO Ritu Maheshwari in the top court. Maheshwari had moved the top court challenging the high court order issuing non-bailable warrant against her after she failed to appear in a contempt case.

The bench, also comprising Justices J.K. Maheshwari and Hima Kohli, also expressed concern at the way the high court handled the case. Earlier, Maheshwari’s lawyer had informed the top court that she reached the high court, but got late and the court issued NBW.

Addressing senior advocate Vikas Singh, who was appearing for the contempt petitioner, on Friday, the bench said, “Suppose you are appearing in a matter, your junior would say my senior is coming… That is not the way.” Singh contended that the roster before the high court has now changed, and the same judge is not hearing the matter. He urged the bench to let her appear before the high court otherwise contempt jurisdiction would close in future.

The bench queried Singh, “We’ve to use the power of NBW in contempt?” The top court orally observed that it has become a routine where the land is taken away by authorities without proper compensation. It was contended that it has been brought on record that the order has been complied with and possession of the land and compensation has been offered.

On May 11, Supreme Court judge Justice Krishna Murari recused from hearing a plea filed by NOIDA CEO and IAS officer Ritu Maheshwari challenging the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued by the Allahabad High Court in a contempt case. The stay on NBW, granted by the top court on May 10 will continue.

The high court issued the order in response to a contempt plea filed by Manorama Kuchhal and another person whose land was acquired by Noida in 1990, but were not given fair compensation. They moved the high court against this land acquisition. The high court issued the order, as the officer could not appear in time. The court directed the police to produce the NOIDA CEO before it on May 13.

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