The CBI has found incriminating documents corroborating diversion of foodgrains from Mohanlalganj block godown of Uttar Pradesh State Food Corporation (SFC) in Lucknow district between 2004-2006.
The grains were meant to be distributed under BPL,Antyodaya,Annaporna and Sampoorna Gramin Raojgar Yojna (SGRY) schemes.
With the seizure of the documents,the CBI has collected evidences corroborating diversion of 30,180.13 quintals of foodgrains,including wheat and rice from one block of Lucknow – Mohanlalganj. The diversion has caused a loss of Rs 1,41,86,000 to the government exchequer from one block,confirmed a senior CBI official.
The CBI has to begin probe into the misappropriation of foodgrains in seven other blocks of Lucknow and the city area.
The documents were seized during the search conducted at five places on Thursday,including those at the SFC godown,residences of two the then in-charges of the SFC godown – Ramjeet Yadav and Suresh Dhar Dubey and that of a transporter – Daljeet Singh.
Yadav and Dubey were posted as in-charge of the Mophanlalganj godown between 2004-2006. While Yadav retired in June last year,Dubey is currently posted at the Fakharpur block godown in Bahraich district. Transporter Daljeet Singh was awarded the contract of transporting foodgrains from depot to the block godowns in Lucknow. But,the investigation found that Singh had played a vital role in diverting foodgrains outside Lucknow and was one of the major shareholders in the racket.
The CBI has evidences of Singh getting bank drafts issued in the names of the fair price shop owners,CBI sources said. There are 84 fair price shop owners in Mohanlalganj block alone.
A senior CBI official told The Indian Express that the search team recovered documents,including thousands of the counter receipts of the bank drafts,books containing blank truck driver slips and cards of fair price shop licencees from the storeroom of the godown.
The official said that the fair price shop owners are supposed to submit bank drafts at the SFC godown to get foodgrains of their quota under various schemes issued. The counter receipts are meant to be kept with the shop owners. But,the seizure of thousands of the receipts of the bank draft from the godown confirmed that the people involved in the racket of diversion of foodgrains used to submit bank drafts in bulk using names of the shop owners. The in-charge of the SFC godown and other officials were also involved in the racket,the official added.
Besides,the blank books of truck driver slips are supposed to be available at the depots of Central Ware House,State Ware House and the Food Corporation of India. Normally,the truck driver who picks up the consignment of foodgrains from the depot for delivering to the SFC godown is issued the slip. The slip comprises four copies. While one is retained at the depot,three are given to the driver. He is supposed to leave one copy at the godown after delivery of the consignment and submit another copy at the office of the district manager of the SFC to claim the charges for the transportation. The fourth copy of the slip is kept with the driver,the official said. But,the blank slips found from the SFC godown corroborated the fact that the foodgrains were diverted to other states or out of the country from the depots and were not delivered to the block godown.
The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had ordered the CBI to take up the investigation into the food grain scam cases related to the Lucknow,Gonda and Varanasi districts on December 3,2010. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of UP Police had earlier been probing into the foodgrain scam of Lucknow. The SIT had found the loss of about Rs 8 crore by diversion of the grains in Lucknow district between 2004-2006.
The Anti-Corruption branch of Lucknow CBI had already been probing into the food grain scam cases of Ballia,Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri districts.