Uttar Pradesh Lok Ayukta recommends removal of ‘corrupt’ minister

August 16th, 2011 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 16 (IANS) Indicting Uttar Pradesh Minister Avadhpal Singh Yadav for large scale financial bungling and corruption, Uttar Pradesh Lok Ayukta Justice N.K. Mehrotra Tuesday created history by recommending his removal from the Mayawati cabinet.

Significantly, earlier this month, the local chief judicial magistrate had charged Yadav, the animal husbandry and dairy development minister, with criminal conspiracy in a triple murder in his constituency, Aliganj under Etah district.

“I have sent a formal communication together with a 36-page report in this regard to the chief minister today,” disclosed Mehrotra, who was the first Lok Ayukta in the state to have initiated such a strong move against a cabinet minister.

He said: “Acting on a complaint by a local lawyer Dr. Subodh Yadav, we carried out detailed investigations; and let me tell you that most of the charges levelled against him have been established.”

According to Mehrotra, “the minister was found guilty of grabbing government land through fraudulent interpolations in the land records, misuse of authority and for giving undue financial favours to his close relatives”.

He said: “We have gathered sufficient evidence to nail the minister on each of the charges; these include calls made from the mobiles of the minister and his two PROs Sanju Yadav and Ajit Yadav, who were known to be collecting bribes on the minister’s behalf.”

While the minister’s removal has been sought on the plea that he had violated the oath of office and secrecy that he had taken at the time of his swearing-in, prosecution proceedings have been recommended under the provisions of the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act for land grabbing.

The Lok Ayukta has also sought action against government functionaries involved in carrying out the manipulations in official land records to transfer government land in the name of the minister and his close relatives including his son Ranjit Singh and brother Chattrapal Singh Yadav, who was a member of the upper house of the state legislature.

“There was enough documentary evidence to prove that bulk of the contracts for construction of veterinary hospitals were awarded only to companies run by the minister’s own family members, who carried out an utterly sub-standard job,” pointed out Mehrotra. “I have, therefore, sought technical audit of each of these buildings,” he added.

The Lok Ayukta also does not rule out the minister’s involvement in large scale production of illicit liquor in Etah district. “In the light of a complaint about his alleged nexus with a major illicit liquor racket in Etah district, I have recommended the creation of a special task force to look into the whole affair, as the operation was understood to be causing an annual loss of Rs.200 crore to the state excise department,” he emphasized.

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