March 31, 2012 6:56:30 am
Panchayat Raj Minister Balram Yadav became the first minister in the two-week-old state government to run into trouble,with the CBI approaching the Supreme court to prosecute him in the 1996 Ayurveda scam case.
The investigating agency today challenged an Allahabad High Court order to quash criminal proceedings against Balram,who was state health minister at the time of the scam.
The high court had last year quashed proceedings against Balram,saying that proper sanction was taken from competent authorities to prosecute him.
Agreeing to hear the CBIs appeal,a bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad issued a notice to Balram.
Considered to be close to SP chief and former CM Mulayam Singh Yadav,Balram was a minister in all the SP governments headed by Mulayam. A native of Senpur village in Azamgarh district,Balram is currently a member of the UP
The probe into the alleged scam in purchase of Ayurveda medicines by the UP government’s Ayurveda Directorate in 1993-94 – causing loss of Rs 26 crore to the exchequer – was handed to the CBI following Allahabad High Court directives in 1996.
The CBI had found that Rs 4 crore was released to Directorate of Ayurvedic and Unani Services for purchasing Ayurveda medicine. The then director of the directorate Dr Shivraj Singh had allegedly issued a fake budget allotment order for purchase of medicines valued at Rs 46 crore. State Regional Ayurvedic and Unani Hospital was authorised to purchase the medicines,and it did so at allegedly exorbitant rates,causing loss of Rs 26 crore.
The agency had accused then health minister Balram,department director Dr Singh,then health secretary R K Sharma,key supplier Durgesh Saxena and 201 others,including Regional Ayurvedic and Unani officials and suppliers.
The CBI later filed 36 chargesheets and the court gave judgment on one of them. Trial on 30 others is still on.
Key accused Dr Singh died in jail. The others are out on bail.
The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Balram,but the then state government gave an incomplete prosecution sanction. Balram moved the high court against CBI’s chargesheet and he was discharged from the case.
Balram was inducted as cabinet minister in the Akhilesh government on March 15. Given his proximity to Mulayam,this was no surprise. Balram also had a say in ticket distribution in Azamgarh and its adjoining districts like Mau,Ghazipur and Ballia.
His son Sangram Yadav was elected to the Assembly from Atrauliya seat in Azamgarh district as SP nominee for the first time in the 2012 polls.
Balram was first elected to the Assembly as Lok Dal nominee from Ataraulia seat in Azamgarh district. In 1989,he won the Atraulia seat as Janata Party nominee. He entered the Assembly for the third time in 1991 as Janata Party nominee. In 1993,he was elected from Atraulia as SP nominee. He got elected again in 2002. He is now a member of the UP legislative council since July 7,2010.
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