File image of Samajwadi party president, Akhilesh Yadav | Getty Images
Akhilesh Yadav | Getty Images
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The CBI’s FIR names public servants, but also says it may probe mining ministers under the SP govt. Akhilesh Yadav himself held the portfolio in 2012-13.

New Delhi: A day after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav met Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and indicated his intent to join hands and counter the BJP in the upcoming elections, the CBI carried out searches at 14 locations in connection with an illegal mining case.

The FIR, registered on 2 January, named 11 public servants who held important positions during Yadav’s term as chief minister between 2012 and 2017.

The FIR also mentioned that the role of the state’s mining ministers of the time may also be looked into. Yadav himself held the portfolio in 2012-13, before handing over the charge to Gayatri Prasad Prajapati.

This is the CBI’s third FIR in illegal mining cases, and was registered almost two and a half years after the Allahabad High Court tasked it with investigating the case on 28 July 2016. The agency had already registered seven preliminary enquiries.

The officials under the scanner include IAS officer B. Chandrakala, the then-district magistrate of Hamirpur, Moinuddin, then mining officer of Hamirpur, and mining clerk Ram Ashrey Prajapati, among other state government employees.

Private persons named in the FIR include Ramesh Kumar Mishra, Dinesh Kumar Mishra, Ambika Tiwari, Sanjay Dixit, Satyadev Dixit, Ramavtar Singh, Karan Singh, Adil Khan and unknown public servants. All of them have been booked for theft, extortion, cheating, and criminal misconduct, and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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The searches were conducted in Hamirpur, Jalaun, Lucknow, Noida and Delhi, and led to a recovery of Rs 12.5 lakh in cash and 1.8 kg gold. Chandrakala’s residences were also searched and some documents were seized.

Also Read: Why Mayawati won’t break her alliance with Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh

What investigators found

According to the FIR, the CBI inquiry revealed that Chandrakala hatched a criminal conspiracy with Moinuddin, other state employees and lease holders, allowing illegal mining of minor minerals in the Hamirpur district between 2012 and 2016, thereby causing a “wrongful loss to the government exchequer and undue gain to themselves”.

Investigation in the case revealed that the 2008 batch officer, Chandrakala allegedly violated the e-tender system of allotting mining contracts in her district and allowed illegal excavation of minerals.

“The inquiry revealed that the above government servants in criminal conspiracy with each other illegally granted fresh leases, renewed existing leases and permitted obstructed period to the existing lease holders, without following the e-tendering procedure as mentioned in government of Uttar Pradesh order dated 31.05.2012 upheld by Allahabad High Court dated 20.05.2013,” the FIR stated.

“Further other persons were allowed to excavate minor minerals illegally to commit theft of minor minerals and to extort money from the lease holders as well as from the drivers of the vehicles transporting minor minerals.”

Also Read: Akhilesh Yadav makes his annoyance of Congress plain

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