Suspended Uttar Pradesh chief engineer Yadav Singh was arrested Wednesday by the CBI for allegedly “abusing his official position in awarding contracts and causing wrongful loss to the government exchequer”. Officials said Singh, who was questioned at the CBI headquarters through the day, refused to cooperate and was placed under arrest. He will be produced in the designated court in Ghaziabad Thursday.
The CBI had earlier conducted searches at 12 locations in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad in connection with its probe against Singh over award of contracts related to Noida, Greater Noida and the Yamuna Expressway authorities. It had also seized files, documents, laptops, iPads and computers.
In August last year, the SP government in UP moved the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court’s decision to order a CBI probe into alleged irregularities by Singh.
In September, an investigation by The Indian Express showed that the family of SP Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, cousin of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, got a sweet deal from Yadav Singh via an aide.
According to the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Ram Gopal Yadav’s son Akshay Yadav — he was elected to Lok Sabha on a SP ticket from Firozabad in May 2014 — took over 9,995 shares of a Delhi-registered company from an associate of Yadav Singh and a former business partner of the latter’s wife on September 11, 2013 — months after the SP government reinstated Yadav Singh who had been suspended earlier.
On Wednesday, a CBI statement said the agency registered a case on July 30, 2015 against “the then chief engineer of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Authority and other unknown persons… for alleged corrupt practices in the laying of underground cable worth Rs 9202 lakh (approx) and other allegations” following orders from the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
“Uttar Pradesh police had earlier registered an FIR… in Sector 39, Noida on 13.06.2012. It was alleged in the FIR that then chief engineer… had entered into criminal conspiracy with unknown private persons/firms and awarded various contracts without following the laid down procedures and thereby caused undue pecuniary gain to the tune of crores of rupees (approx) to private firms and himself. The FIR ended in closure and a final report filed in the court of Special Session Judge, Noida by the local police in January 2014 which was accepted by the court in November 2014,” the CBI said.
“It was also alleged that the tenders were called and received in the month of March itself but the tenders were opened in the month of November, 2011 and finally allotted to two different L-I firms based at Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad and Noida in the month of December, 2011,” the agency said.
“It was further alleged that whereas the questioned work for underground cable like had already started from September 2011 while the contract was signed in December 2011 and that 60% of work had already been completed before signing the contract. The work was allegedly allotted without following tender formalities. The said two firms were allegedly given contract for work amounting to Rs 21.90 crore (approx) and Rs 25.50 crore (approx). Later on, a part of the work worth Rs 34.80 crore (approx) was also allegedly allotted to a firm based at Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad without resorting to any tender process. Then chief engineer had allegedly signed 1280 contract (approx) bonds amounting to Rs 959 crore (approx) in a span of 8 days during November, 2014,” the CBI said.
Yadav Singh is also facing an Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe which has registered two ECIRs (equivalent to an FIR) under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED cases have been registered on the basis of the FIR filed by the CBI.
In Lucknow Wednesday, the Congress and BJP welcomed the arrest of Singh and\ demanded a probe into the “ongoing nexus between politicians and officers in Noida”.
“The arrest of Yadav Singh by CBI is good and we support it… We hope his arrest will now expose his political bosses, who provided him backing all these years” UP Congress president Nirmal Khatri said.
State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai said: “It is good that the CBI has arrested him but now those providing him political backing should also be brought under the purview of the inquiry and should be exposed.”