Ministers in the previous Samajwadi Party government as well as some IAS officers, including B Chandrakala, are likely to face the heat in the alleged mining scam as the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday filed a money laundering case in this connection.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had recently registered a criminal complaint and said it was probing the role of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and some bureaucrats in the mining scam.
The officials said the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and pressed charges against those booked by the CBI.
The ED is now checking the money trail and see if the alleged illegal funds earned as kickbacks in these cases were laundered by the accused. It may soon summon the accused for questioning.
ED sleuths had already sought all certified copies of the documents and wealth recovered during the raids by CBI or later search carried out by them in the bank lockers etc.
The CBI had carried out searches at 14 locations earlier this month in connection with its FIR against 11 people, including IAS officer B Chandrakala, Samajwadi Party MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit (who unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly election on BSP ticket), to probe alleged illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district during 2012-16.
Minor minerals are sand, gravel, etc.
“The role of the then mining ministers during the relevant period may be looked into during the course of investigation,” the CBI FIR had said.
Akhilesh Yadav, who was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh between 2012 and 2017, held the mining portfolio during 2012-13, and this apparently brought him also under scanner, according to the FIR.
He was succeeded by Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, who took charge as Mining Minister in 2013 and was arrested in 2017 following a complaint of rape by a woman residing in Chitrakoot.
Others named in the CBI FIR include Dinesh Kumar Mishra, brother of SP MLC Ramesh Mishra; Ram Ashrey Prajapati (then mining clerk); Ambika Tiwari; Sanjay Dixit’s father Satyadev Dixit; Ram Avtar Singh (retired mining clerk); Karan Singh (lease holder); and Adil Khan, the illegal excavator.