Dalit memorial scam: Rs 1,400 crore siphoned off, says UP Lokayukta
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta on Monday indicted 199 persons, including two former BSP ministers, a sitting MLA, several officers and engineers for irregularities in construction of memorials and parks during the previous Mayawati regime in the state.
Submitting his report to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Lokayukta NK Mehrotra said irregularities to the tune of Rs 1,400 crore were detected which was 34 percent of the total budget for construction of memorials and parks.
"I have submitted my report to the Chief Minister in which 199 persons have been indicted," Mehrotra said.
He said he had recommended filing of FIRs under the Prevention of Corruption Act and under section 409 of the IPC (criminal breach of trust by public servant) against 19 persons.
The 19 were two former BSP ministers Naseemuddi Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha, former Joint Director of Mining SA Farooqui, former Managing Director of Rajkiya Nirmaan Nigam CP Singh and 15 engineers.
CP Singh is currently technical advisor to the Uttrakhand Chief Minister.
For the remaining persons indicted in the report, the Lokayukta recommended that their properties be probed and if these were found disproportionate to their known sources of income, FIRs should be lodged against them.
The 199 persons indicted by the Lokayukta are two ex-BSP ministers, two former MLAs, a sitting MLA, five mining officers, 57 engineers of Nirman Nigam, five engineers of LDA, two advocates, eight people of the public, leaders of 20 consortiums, 60 representatives of supply firms and 37 accountants of RNN.
Soon after assuming office, Akhilesh had asked the Lokayukta to probe alleged irregularities and corruption in supply of pink sandstone from Mirzapur for the construction of memorials and parks during the BSP regime.
In his 1,346 page report including annexures, the
Lokayukta said irregularities had been detected to the tune of Rs 1,410 crore which was 34 percent of the budget allocated for the construction of memorials.
A total Rs 4,267.83 crore was allocated to four departments, of which Rs 4,188.54 crore was spent and corruption of Rs 1,410 crore detected, Mehrotra said.
He said during probe by the Economic Offence Wing which assisted the Lokayukta, people gave statements that while pink standstone was being supplied at the rate of Rs 40 to Rs 50 per cubic feet, the mining department procured it at Rs 150 per cubic feet.
"Even if the rate is taken at Rs 100 per cubic feet then payment in excess of Rs 50 was made which I have recommended should be recovered from the leaders of the consortium," he said.
Mehrotra said in later stages, the Rajkiya Nirman Nigam chose only those contractors who would take the stone to Bayana in Rajasthan and get it shaped.
"For this the rate was fixed at Rs 1,890 per cubic feet. Even when the crushing machines were installed at Mirzapur, transportation charge at the rate of Rs 835 per cubic feet to and fro was charged," he said.
The Lokayukta said he had recommended that transportation charge of Rs 840 per cubic feet should be recovered from the 60 firms which supplied the stone.
He recommended that of the estimated irregularities of Rs 1,410 crore, 30 per cent each should be recovered from Siddiqui and Kushwaha, 15 per cent from C P Singh, five percent from Farooqui, 15 percent from the engineers and five per cent from the accountants.
Mehrotra said he had recommended that when an FIR was lodged an application should be moved in the court to attach the property of the accused and when they were convicted it should be sold for recovery.
Regarding involvement of Mayawati in the matter, the Lokayukta said there was no evidence.
"During course of inquiry people gave statements that the former CM said it was a pious work which should be executed with honesty and dedication and she never gave any order," he said.
The Lokayukta recommended as the open inquiry was over, investigations should now be done either by the CBI or a special task force free of administrative control of the government.
Mehrotra said a special court should be set up with the permission of the High Court for the trial.