Trouble brews for Akhilesh, as CBI books ex-minister Prajapati in mining case
Trouble seems to be in store for former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the CBI has booked his then ministerial colleague Gayatri Prajapati and several IAS officers in alleged illegal sand mining case in Uttar Pradesh's Fatehpur district.
Prajapati is currently in a UP jail in a gangrape case, involving a woman and her minor daughter.
Besides Prajapati, the Central Bureau of Investigation has named Jiwesh Nandan, then Principal Secretary of Geology and Mining department, Santosh Kumar, then Special Secretary, Geology and Mining, Hari Mohan Jha, then under Secretary of geology and mining and Abhay Kumar Singh, then District Magistrate of Fatehpur.
Besides the IAS officers, the CBI has also booked Shiv Singh and Sukhraj, residents of Fatehpur in the case.
The CBI filed the FIR On June 29 on the orders of the Allahabad High Court and booked them under the Prevention of Corruption Act, criminal conspiracy, theft, and cheating.
The investigating agency in its FIR alleged that Shiv Singh was granted a sand mining lease for three years on November 8, 2006. He reapplied for the renewal of the lease in 2009 without obtaining the 'no due certificate' for the amount of Rs 6.2 lakh for illegal mining.
The FIR said the then ADM (Mining) and other mining officials had rejected Shiv Singh's renewal license as it was found "non-maintainable" on October 17, 2010.
"It is alleged that Shiv Singh in criminal conspiracy with the the then mining officials of Fatehpur and unknown others got the opinion of the Mining officials changed in his favour -- that if he cleared all his dues of the Mining Department, then his renewal application might be sent for the prior approval to the Uttar Pradesh government," the FIR said.
The FIR alleged that Shiv Singh then cleared all his dues of Rs 6.2 lakh with the Mining Department on May 1, 2012, and got the 'no dues certificate' on May 16, 2012, and also received the environmental clearance certificate on December 10, 2012.
He had said that the documents were submitted in the DM office on January 28, 2013. However, then DM of Fatehpur Abhay Kumar Singh, who is currently posted as DM, Bulandshahr, had forwarded Shiv Singh's renewal application to the state government, clearly mentioning that he had not taken any decision prior to September 5, 2012, as permitted by the state government through its order dated February 26, 2013.
Abhay Kumar Singh's residential premises were raided by the CBI on Wednesday,
The Uttar Pradesh government had mandated e-tendering for renewal and award of the fresh lease for sand mining in the state on May 31, 2012, which was upheld by the Allahabad High Court on January 29, 2013.
The FIR alleged that Shiv Singh hatched a criminal conspiracy along with senior officers of Mining and Geology Department, as a result of which, Prajapati approved the illegal recommendations made by Nandan, Santosh Kumar, Jha, and others.
The minister and officials had abused their official positions in favour of Shiv SIngh for three years from January 29, 2014, to January 28, 2017, said the FIR.
The FIR also alleged that Nanadan Kumar and then district magistrate of Fatehpur Abhay Singh allegedly conspired with the minister to get the lease renewed for Sukhraj in 2014.
The CBI said that Sukhraj was granted two leases in Fatehpur by Abhay Singh.
The probe agency earlier in the day carried out searches at over 12 locations in UP, including the residence of Abhay Singh and recovered cash to the tune of Rs 47 lakh.
Akhilesh Yadav was Chief Minister from 2012 to 2017 who kept the mining portfolio with him from 2012 to 2013.
The illegal mining allegedly took place between 2012 and 2016.
Last month, the CBI searched three residential premises of Prajapati in Amethi. IANS