A month after the CBI rejected its recommendation to probe alleged embezzlement of funds in the construction of the Delhi-Saharanpur highway — a project passed in 2010 under the BSP regime — the Yogi Adityanath government has written to the Centre seeking reconsideration.
As per records, the Rs 2,500 crore contract for the highway project was awarded to a Hyderabad-based private firm in 2010, and work had started in 2011. However, the firm had stopped the work citing environment clearance, but did not complete the project even after getting it, said sources. After the Samajwadi Party (SP) came to power, state authorities had conducted an inspection to discover that while the firm had withdrawn Rs 700 crore from public and private banks for the project, it had spent only Rs 100 crore on construction work, sources added.
The matter was taken up by the present BJP dispensation as well, and a case was lodged against the firm. On May 16 this year, the government had recommended it for a CBI probe and sent a letter to the ministry of home affairs. Principal Secretary (Home), Arvind Kumar, confirmed that they have again written to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to reconsider the project for a CBI investigation.
Over the last seven months, the state government has recommended six matters including the highway project, mostly related to the previous SP and BSP governments, for CBI to probe (see box). The agency has taken up three of these cases so far. Another matter of alleged corruption in connection with the properties of the Shia and Sunni Waqf Boards in the state is being considered to be recommended for CBI investigation, a home department official said.
Cases taken up by CBI on yogi govt’s recommendation
- Death of IAS officer Anurag Tewari
Karnataka cadre IAS officer Anurag Tewari whose body was found outside a government guest house in Lucknow on May 17. Tewari had been posted as commissioner in the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department in Karnataka. The government had recommended the matter for CBI probe two weeks after his death on the request of his family. The agency lodged an FIR in connection with the alleged murder on June 16.
- ‘Corruption’ in Gomti River Front Project
On November 31, the CBI lodged FIR in connection with alleged corruption and anomalies in the execution of Gomti River Front Development Project. The project was launched during the previous SP regime, and executed by the state irrigation department headed by then minister Shivpal Yadav. After Shivpal was removed from the Cabinet following a feud in the Yadav family, then CM Akhilesh Yadav had taken over the portfolio. Eight engineers of the state irrigation department were booked in the case. The roles of two senior IAS officers are under scanner. The state government recommended the matter for CBI investigation in July.
- Alleged irregularities in UPPSC exams
On December 8, the DoPT had issued a notification for a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the UP Public Service Commission (UPPSC) examinations, whose results were declared between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2017. The state government had recommended the matter for CBI probe around 3 months before the notification was issued.
Recommended cases that are pending with CBI
- Allegations of disproportionate assets against ex-MD of sugar factories co-op
On November 23, the Yogi government had sent a recommendation for a probe against former managing director of the UP Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation, BK Yadav, for allegedly committing irregularities and amassing assets disproportionate to his known income. Yadav had served on the post between December 18, 2013, and May 23, 2017 during the previous SP government.
- Ruchi Sharma murder case
Two months ago, the state government had recommended a CBI probe into the murder case of 35-year-old Ruchi Sharma, who was allegedly bludgeoned to death with a cricket bat by her husband Mohit Sharma, a software engineer, in Vijay Nagar police station area of Ghaziabad district on March 12, 2015. Mohit was arrested and police had filed a chargesheet against him on April 30, 2015.