Foodgrain scam: On CBI’s suggestion,HC wants joint task force formed for probehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/foodgrain-scam-on-cbis-suggestion-hc-wants-joint-task-force-formed-for-probe/

Foodgrain scam: On CBI’s suggestion,HC wants joint task force formed for probe

The CBI has suggested the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to constitute a joint task force to coordinate the investigation into the 2004-2005 foodgrain scam.

The CBI has suggested the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to constitute a joint task force to coordinate the investigation into the 2004-2005 foodgrain scam.

In response,the Bench comprising Justices D P Singh and S C Chaurasia called for the constitution of a committee to assist the court in monitoring the case.

The court stated that Principal Secretary to Governor G B Patnaik be spared from his present job to provide assistance to the court in this regard.

Patnaik along with CBI joint director Javeed Ahmed asked the Bench to suggest the names of officers that would be deputed as members of the task force and the committee.

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The Bench observed that the Joint Task Force may be constituted by the next date of hearing scheduled for March 10.

The committee would be separate from the task force,the court stated.

The Court,meanwhile,also ordered the CBI on Friday to take up the case pertaining to the foodgrain scam in Sitapur district. The anti-corruption wing of the Lucknow CBI has been probing cases related to the scam in Ballia and Lakhimpur Kheri districts so far. During the last hearing on February 22,the CBI had pleaded that they lacked manpower to investigate the scam cases related to other districts.

A senior CBI official said that the agency had also requested the court to hand over the cases of foodgrain scam of other districts to the UP Police,as the magnitude of embezzlement did not requisite the involvement of a specialised agency like the CBI.

Chief standing counsel D K Upadhyay,meanwhile,said: “The state government had approved the notification for a CBI probe into the foodgrain scam. Following a preliminary inquiry,the agency,however,took up matters related to Ballia and Lakhimpur Kheri,while expressing its unwillingness to probe the issue in Sitapur.”

He added: “The Court today ordered the CBI to probe the scam in Sitapur also,which was so far being investigated by the State Special Investigation Team (SIT)”.

The Court handed over the Sitapur case to the agency,as the preliminary inquiry report submitted by the SIT in court found that food grains had been exported outside the state to the eastern and southern parts of the country from Sitapur,said the CBI official.

The Court also ordered that the district court of Sitapur shall not proceed with the cases unless CBI submits its report after conducting an inquiry,added the official.

The Sitapur police had earlier submitted chargesheets in 43 cases related to the scam involving the distribution of grains through BPL and Antyoday cards across the district,said the official,adding that the probe was later handed to the SIT.