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.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
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.
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.”
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.