New Delhi: The enforcement directorate (ED) Lucknow on Thursday registered a money laundering case in connection with alleged illegal mining in Uttar Pradesh. The case is based on a CBI FIR to probe the role of State Mining Ministers, including former UP Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav during 2012-16.
The ED has filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and pressed charges against those booked by the CBI. The ED is now looking to check the money trail.
The development comes days after the CBI registered a case on January 2 against 11 people, including some known and unknown public servants and others, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI has named IAS officer B. Chandrakala, a former Hamirpur District Magistrate, miner Adil Khan, geologist/mining officer Moinuddin, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ramesh Kumar Mishra, his brother Dinesh Kumar Mishra, Ram Ashray Prajapati – a former clerk in the Mining Department in Hamirpur, Sanajy Dikshit who contested the 2017 Assembly polls on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket, his father Satyadeo Dikshit and Ram Avtar Singh – a former clerk in the Mining Department.
According to the CBI officials, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh granted lease of mines to 14 people in 2013 in Hamirpur district against the Allahabad High Court orders which had ratified the e-tender policy.
On January 7, the CBI released a list of 22 leases cleared by Akhilesh Yadav, who was also the Mining Minister during the period, and Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, who succeeded Yadav as the Mining Minister.
On January 6, the BJP had demanded that the CBI investigate former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for his alleged involvement in a mining scam, claiming that his government was “hand in glove” with the accused in the case.
Amid reports that the CBI may quiz him, the Samajwadi Party chief had said he is ready to face the probe agency and targeted the BJP, saying it is leaving a “culture”, which may be used against it in the future.
“Samajwadi Party is making efforts to win maximum Lok Sabha seats. Those who want to stop us, have the CBI with them. Once the Congress did CBI probe, and I was questioned. If the BJP is doing all this, the CBI will question me, I will answer (them). But, the people are ready to give an answer to the BJP,” Yadav had told reporters in Lucknow.
The CBI had carried out searches at 14 locations in connection with its FIR against 11 persons including IAS officer B Chandrakala, Samajwadi Party MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit (who unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly election on a BSP ticket) to probe alleged illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district during 2012-16.