CBI raids 14 places in UP sugar mills disinvestment scam

CBI Headquarters

New Delhi, The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday raided 14 places, including the residence of Netram, former principal secretary of ex-Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, in its probe into the alleged sugar mills disinvestment scam in UP.

The CBI had registered a case in the alleged sugar mills disinvestment scam in Uttar Pradesh during the tenure of former Mayawati on April 25 this year to probe the alleged irregularities in the disinvestment of 21 sugar mills that included seven closed mills.

According to the CBI FIR, 11 sugar mills were sold out during 2010-11. Mayawati was the Chief Minister of the state from 2007 to 2012. A senior CBI official here said the agency has carried out searches at 14 places, including the residence of retired IAS officer Netram, who was then principal secretary in the department of agriculture and also headed the excise, sugarcane, food and civil supplies department.

On March 12 this year, just before the Lok Sabha election, the Income Tax department also raided over a dozen locations of Netram over suspected tax evasion amounting to Rs 100 crore.

A CBI official said that besides the residence of Netram in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar, searches were also carried out at the residence of Vinay Priya Dubey in Lucknow’s Aliganj area. He said Dubey, a retired IAS officer, was then MD of UP State Sugar Corporation.

The official said that raids were carried out at the residence of former MLC Iqbal Singh two sons in Saharanpur district. He said that CBI has also raided the official and residential premise of a Chartered Accountant named S.K. Gupta in national capital’s Barakhambha Road and Greater Kailash in connection with the case.

The CBI also searched the residential premises of Saurabh Mukund, one of the accused in the case in Saharanpur. It has recovered several incriminating documents pertaining to the case.

It is alleged that forged documents were submitted by the purchaser of the seven closed sugar mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmiganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, as reported by the Serious Fraud Investigation Organisation (SFIO) during their investigation, said the CBI FIR.

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.

Two of them, identified as Rakesh Sharma and his wife Suman Sharma, belong to Delhi’s Rohini, while one Dharmendra Gupta hails from Indirapuram, Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

Four other persons identified as Mukund, Javed, Mohd. Naseem Ahmed and Mohd. Vazid are residents of Saharanpur district in the state. The CBI has also registered six preliminary enquiries in connection with the case.

The raids at 14 places in Uttar Pradesh are part of the agency’s massive crackdown against corruption at 110 locations in 19 states and union territories across the country on Tuesday.