LUCKNOW: The zonal office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case in the Rs 1100 crore sugar mills 'scam' here on Friday. The alleged scam in the sale of 21 sugar mills of the state had taken place during the fourth tenure of BSP chief Mayawati as UP CM from 2007-12.
The zonal ED office registered the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of the FIR already lodged by the CBI in the scam. The ED is now set to tighten the noose around all those named in the CBI FIR in connection with the swindling of funds. Even retired IAS officer Netram who was a close confidant of the then CM Mayawati and other senior officers will come under the ED scanner.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath, on April 12, 2018, had recommended a CBI probe into the disinvestment of 21 sugar mills in 2010-2011. As per the allegations, all 21 sugar mills were sold off at throwaway prices and Rs 1100 crore was siphoned off in the deal. The CBI had registered a case in the alleged scam on April 25 this year.
The premier probe agency on Tuesday raided 14 places, including the residence of Netram, former principal secretary of ex-Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, as part of its probe into the alleged scam. Netram was then principal secretary, agriculture, and also headed the excise, sugarcane, food and civil
supplies department. According to the CBI FIR, 11 sugar mills were sold during 2010-11.
On March 12 this year, just before the Lok Sabha election, the Income Tax department had conducted raids on a dozen locations of Netram over suspected tax evasion amounting to Rs 100 crore.
As per CBI sources, besides Netram’s residence in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar, searches were also carried out at the residence of Vinay Priya Dubey in Lucknow. Dubey, also a retired IAS officer, was the then MD of the UP State Sugar Corporation.
The CBI FIR claimed that the purchaser of the seven closed sugar mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmiganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh had produced forged documents at the time of deal as was reported by the Serious Fraud Investigation Organisation (SFIO) during their investigation.
The CBI FIR has named seven individuals on charges of cheating, forgery, using forged documents as genuine, falsification of accounts and contravention of provisions of the Companies Act 1956.