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DA case: Former UP chief secretary chargesheeted by CBI
March 28, 2008 19:23 IST
The CBI on Friday chargesheeted former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Akhand Pratap Singh for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income while 11 others, including his wife, also face charges for "aiding and abetting" his corrupt activities.
The 11 others, including former Central Board of Secondary Education chairman B P Khandelwal, Singh's daughters, wife and other relatives were named in the chargesheet for having allegedly aided and abetted the corrupt activities of Singh and conspired in forging the documents used for benami acquisitions.
The chargesheet also includes Singh's wife and two married daughters as accused.
The relatives who have been chargesheeted include two nieces of Singh's wife and their husbands and a brother of Singh's son-in-law.
Besides Khandelwal, his brother, who is a contractor in Lucknow Development Authority and Noida Development Authority and a managing director of a public limited sugar mill in Moradabad District of UP, have been chargesheeted.
In its chargesheet filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge I K Kochar, the CBI has alleged that Singh, an IAS officer of 1967 batch, allegedly acquired disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 2.88 crore during the period April 1982 to March 1998.
A total of 40 immovable properties located in New Delhi, Lucknow, Behraich and Nainital worth Rs 1.83 crore allegedly acquired in 'benami' names, were found to be owned by Singh at the end of the check period.
Many of these assets were located in posh localities of Delhi and Lucknow and their values were shown much lower than the actual transaction values.
Singh allegedly acquired movable assets, including bank deposits, shares worth Rs 85.5 lakh in his own name and in the names of others.
Total verifiable expenditure made during the check period has been found to be Rs 75.4 lakh, the CBI chargesheet said.
The CBI had registered a case against Singh on March 19, 2005, for possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income in the form of movable and immovable properties in his name and in the names of his family members and others to the tune of Rs 21.45 lakh.
The CBI probe resulted in unearthing huge assets acquired by the officer in his own name, his wife's, the married daughters, close relatives and associates.
More than 85 properties and over 100 bank accounts were unearthed during the course of investigation.
The CBI alleged that Singh adopted the modus operandi of forging documents, wills and signatures to acquire property and for various bank transactions.
He was arrested on September 25, 2007, and was subjected to sustained custodial interrogation. He remained in police and judicial custody for a period of 42 days.
The CBI chargesheet claimed that Singh, while working as vice chairman of the Lucknow Development Authority and subsequently as secretary, Urban Development, got allotted prime residential plots in posh localities of Lucknow in the names of his family members, relatives and associates.
The signatures of the persons in whose names the properties were acquired were forged and the application forms were filled up by him or his close associates, it said.
Ownerships of many of these plots were transferred in the names of Singh's daughters and relatives. The accused also set up 'benami' companies, with his father and other associates as directors.
A commercial plot of 4,000 sq m was got allotted in the name of one of the companies from the LDA.
During this period, a family trust was also created with his associates as trustees and properties were also acquired in the name of this trust, the CBI alleged.
As the assets of Singh increased, he adopted various methods to launder the same and in this attempt he tried to legitimise some parts of the earnings by creating fake income in the name of his wife's relatives as well as some key associates, the CBI chargesheet alleged.
Some portions of these earnings were deposited in various 'benami' bank accounts opened and operated by the accused in Lucknow and Delhi.
Cash amounts were deposited in bank accounts or used for preparation of bank drafts, which were sent to share brokers in Mumbai and Kolkata for purchase of shares in various names.
Trading of shares worth lakhs of rupees was carried out regularly and proceeds from the trading activities were received from the share brokers and deposited in these bank accounts, thereby trying to establish a legitimate source of earning.
The money in these bank accounts was then used for acquisition of immovable assets in various names as well as investments in private limited companies and purchase of more shares.
The bank account in the name of his father was used by the accused to launder his money.
More than Rs 30 lakh was laundered even after his father's death by forging various cheques in his name, it added.