The CBI has sought sanction from the Uttar Pradesh government to investigate the alleged role of three senior bureaucrats in connection with alleged irregularities in the investment of over Rs 4,300 crore of provident fund of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) employees in scam-hit DHFL and other housing finance companies, sources said. The agency has sought the nod of the state government under Section 17 (A) of the Prevention of Corruption Act which mandates prior sanction from the competent government before initiating any investigation against a government officer.
The three bureaucrats are Sanjay Agarwal, Aparna U and Alok Kumar. Agarwal, a 1984-batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre and Kumar, a 1984 batch IAS from the state cadre, had held the post of UPPCL Chairman while Aparna U, a 2001-batch IAS, was the Managing Director. Agarwal is holding charge of Secretary, Agriculture and Kumar is Secretary, Power in the Centre at present. Aparna U is posted as Principal Secretary in the state.
During the investigation of UPPCL PF scam, the CBI has learnt that over Rs 4,323 crore of savings of UPPCL employees under provident fund were allegedly invested in DHFL and other housing finance companies. "The agency has also found that out of the total investment, Rs 3,245 crore was allegedly invested in DHFL and other such companies," they said.
According to allegations in the case taken over by the CBI, it was alleged that a total of Rs 4,122.70 crore was invested in DHFL, out of which Rs 2,267.90 crore are still outstanding, officials said. The CBI took over the investigation into the scam on March 5 this year after taking over the FIR registered by the Hazratganj Police station in Lucknow, they said.
The Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) is facing multiple probes after a report suggested that the company, through layers of shell companies, allegedly siphoned off Rs 31,000 crore out of the total bank loan of Rs 97,000 crore. It is also alleged that the officials of UPPCL conspired to get the provident funds deposited in schemes of DHFL circumventing the rules which did not encourage such investments.
Pravin Kumar Gupta, former secretary of the UP State Power Sector Employees' Trust and Sudhanshu Dwivedi, former director, finance, of UPPCL have been named as accused for criminal breach of trust, cheating and forgery. Provident fund of the UPPCL employees were being invested in fixed deposits of nationalised banks till October 2016. On a proposal of Gupta and former UPPCL managing director A P Mishra, the investment of funds started in PNB housing since December 2016, according to the officials.
With PTI Inputs