Court refuses anticipatory bail to the project advisor in the Lucknow Gomti River Front “Scam”: Allahabad High Court

Case title – Badri Shrestha v. State of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home Lko. and another [Criminal Misc. Anticipatory Bail Application U/S 438 CR.P.C. No. 2102 of 2022]

The Allahabad High Court last month denied anticipatory bail to the former advisor of Lucknow’s Gomti Riverfront project, who is accused of massive corruption and widespread irregularities in the project’s implementation. Given the gravity of the corruption in the case, the allegations levelled against the accused-applicant, Badri Shrestha, and the evidence against him, the Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh denied him anticipatory bail. It should be noted that the Gomti River Front Development project was the ‘dream’ project of the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government that ruled the state from 2012 to 2017.


The project’s goal was to channel the river by building a diaphragm wall, as well as landscaping and constructing intercepting drains on both banks.

After receiving complaints of extensive corruption in the project’s implementation, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh ordered an investigation into the Gomti riverfront beautification project in 2017.

The CBI contends that Badri Shrestha, the applicant, was one of the main conspirators who secured the execution work for M/s K.K. Spun Pipes Private Limited, which was not even registered with the Irrigation Department. It has also been alleged that the accused was actively involved in the criminal conspiracy with other accused persons for illegally securing the work by pooling the tender on the basis of forged documents, depriving the Government of competitive rates, and causing a significant loss to the Government exchequer to benefit Government officials and private individuals. Additionally, the payment of Rs.337.32 crore to M/s K.K. Spun Pipes Private Limited was made in addition to the already extremely high cost of Rs.285.69 crore.


Taking into account the charge sheet and the evidence against the accused applicant, the single judge found that the claim made by the accused applicant’s attorney that there was no evidence against him for his involvement in the commission of an offence was unfounded.


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