Court summons former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary in graft case

July 22nd, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) A city court Tuesday issued summons against former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Akhand Pratap Singh, his wife and 10 others for allegedly amassing assets worth over Rs.2 billion. Additional Sessions Judge R.K. Yadav, seeking the presence of the retired officer and others on Aug 26, said there was “sufficient prima facie” evidence against the accused to proceed with the trial.

The 11 accused are Singh’s wife Neelam Singh, his two married daughters Juhi and Java, two nieces of his wife, one of her nephews, the husband of one of the nieces, a brother of his son-in-law as well as three close associates.

The three associates named in a charge sheet by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are K.M. Khandelwal, a contractor with the Noida Development Authority, and his brother B.P. Khandelwal, who is a former chairman of the Central Bureau of Secondary Education (CBSE), and Madan Pal Singh.

The charge sheet was filed against main accused Akhand Pratap Singh under sections 109 (abetment), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 467 (forgery) and 471 (using forged documents) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The others have been charged with having aided and abetted his corrupt activities and for conspiring in forging the documents used for the illegal acquisitions.

Akhand Pratap Singh, currently on bail, was arrested Sep 25 last year. He was chief secretary in the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav regime in Uttar Pradesh and has cases of cheating, forgery and amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income when in power filed against him since March, 2005.

According to the corruption case registered against him in 2005, Singh acquired as many as 84 immovable properties in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand worth Rs.2 billion. He had 100 bank accounts in his and his family members’ names in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Behraich and Nainital.

He is also accused of forging the signatures of his dead father and a friend for transferring the properties and routing financial transactions through several fictitious bank accounts.

After the case against Akhand Pratap Singh was registered, the CBI in 2005 conducted raids at 16 places and allegedly discovered huge properties in his name and in the names of his daughters.

The CBI sleuths arrested him from his Vasant Kunj farmhouse in south Delhi while he was attempting to flee.

Akhand Pratap Singh, a 1967 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who retired in 2003, had invested huge sums of money in several private limited companies with his relatives, friends and family members, who were shown as promoters and directors of the companies

He is the second chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh in a row to be caught in a corruption case. Earlier, his predecessor D.S. Bagga was nailed and suspended in the multi-million Taj Corridor scam.

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