UP Lokayukta orders CBI probe against Naseemuddin

In an embarrassment for the Mayawati govt, UP Lokayukta on Wednesday recommended a CBI probe against its most powerful minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui.

Lucknow: In an embarrassment for the Mayawati government, Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta on Wednesday recommended a CBI probe against one of its most powerful ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and his wife Husna, an MLC.

"An inquiry by Directorate of Enforcement, a wing of CBI, has been recommended against the minister Siddiqui and his wife MLC Husna Siddiqui for having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income," Lokayukta Justice N K
Mehrotra said.

He said that inquiry into assets of Siddiquis has revealed a clear cut case of money laundering which could only be probed by a crime investigating agency.

The complaint against Siddiquis was lodged by Jagdish Narain Shukla, who had accused the minister and his wife of owning benami properties.

"There was a complaint that Husna Siddiqui has formed an Educational Society from illegal sources of income, land was purchased by using blackmoney by under-valuation and irregularities in Bundelkhand Area Development Fund," the Lokayukta said.

Justice Mehrotra said that inquiry revealed that QF Educational Society formed by Husna Siddiqui only existed on papers and even its members were unaware of its whereabouts.

"In the balancesheet of the society receipts of more than Rs 3.62 crore were shown as capital and other donations. When an inquiry was conducted through Income Tax department the list given accounted only to Rs 1.82 crore," he said.

He said that society purchased 57.18 bigha lands in Nidaura village in Barabanki for Rs 46 lakh which was undervalued.

"As per the estimation of the district administration the land is worth is more than Rs 16.39 crore," Justice Mehrotra said.

Similarly, land was purchased in Tindwari village for Rs 4.5 lakh which in reality was of more than Rs one crore.

"Husna Siddiqui purchased a bungalow with total land of more than 16,000 square metre in Cantonment area for Rs 50 lakh from Meera Chauhan. As per the circle rate only the cost of super structure is around one crore," he said.

The Lokayukta said that similarly two hectare land was purchased in Banda by Upma Singh, wife of an engineer close to Siddiqui for Rs five lakh in Banda, which was later transferred in the name of Akrami Begum and Arshi Siddiqui for a consideration of Rs 5.5 lakh.

"As per the estimation of sub-registrar the cost of the land is around RS 3.6 crore," he said.

He said that Siddiqui`s son Afzal Siddiqui has set up a processed meat factory in the name of AQ Frozen Fruits Private Limited.

"The factory is spread over an area of 4.289 hectares. While sale deeds of 2.827 hectares are available, rest of the land is under illegal possession," he said.

Lokayukta said that this fact would be used in another inquiry against Siddiqui lodged by Ashish Dixit.

He said that inquiry revealed that guidelines of the Centre were violated in Bundelkhand Area Development Fund and majority of the grant and subsidy was given to people associated with the minister.

"As per the income tax return submitted by the Siddiquis they have show an income of Rs 1.92 crore in four years," Justice Mehrotra said.

He said that while Husna Siddiqui has shown an income of Rs 1.20 crore, Naseemuddin Siddiqui has declared an income of Rs 73.14 lakh in four years.

"This indicates that unknown icome has been utilized for purchasing the properties," he said. The Lokayukta said that he has sent his report to CM
Mayawati for further action.

Meanwhile, BJP said that Lokayukta`s recommendation has vindicated the party`s stand of Siddiqui indulging in large scale corruption.

"The party had been accusing Siddiqui of indulging in corruption and land-grabbing from the last six months and after Lokayukta`s report it`s stand has been vindicated," party spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

He alleged that instead of scaking Siddiqui, CM Mayawati shielded him.
"The CM should now adopt the recommendation of Lokayukta against the minister and hand over the case to CBI, besides sacking him," Pathak said.


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