Former UP Chief Secretary arrested

Former UP Chief Secretary arrested
New Delhi, Sep 25 (PTI) CBI today arrested former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Akhand Pratap Singh for allegedly tampering with evidence, influencing witnesses not cooperating with the agency in its probe of disproportionate assets case registered against him in March 2005.

Singh, a 1967 batch IAS officer, was arrested from his Vasant Kunj farm house here while he was trying to escape when CBI sleuths knocked at his door, sources in the investigation agency said.

A senior CBI official said Singh, who retired in 2003, tried to flee from the rear of the farm house but got stuck in a traffic snarl.

The CBI said the arrest was necessiated also because Singh, who was Chief Secretary during the rule of Samajwadi Party, allegedly indulged in forgery of documents by him as revealed during investigation.

The CBI in a release also charged that the former Chief Secretary was converting his ill-gotten earnings into immovable assets acquired in the names of his family members, relatives, friends as well as some private limited companies.

The probe so far into the case of possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income has led CBI to lay its hands on 84 immovable properties in prime areas of Delhi, NOIDA, Ghaziabad, Greater NOIDA, Lucknow, Bahraich and Nainital, the CBI claimed.

The declared value of these properties, many of which are highly undervalued, run into several crores of rupees. Over 100 bank accounts having huge deposits have also been found besides large investments in shares, debentures and luxury vehicles, the CBI said. (MORE)

The CBI alleged Singh had forged the signatures of his father to acuqire eight properties in prime land in Delhi and Lucknow whose ownership was later transferred to his daughters on the basis of forged will of his father.

The bank account continued to be operated by Singh for 18 months even after his father's death and nearly Rs 40 lakh was laundered during the period, the CBI alleged.

The CBI release said the probe also allegedly showed that Singh constructed a palatial house in Lucknow on three combined plots one of which was acquired in the name of his father and another in the name of a friend who was a Professor in Delhi University (since died).

A forged will was again used to transfer the plot, in the friend's name, to the daughter of Singh and a bank account in the name of the friend was also used by the former Chief Secretary to make huge investments in shares of companies, the release alleged.

Probe has also brought out the setting up of certain private limited companies by Singh with family members, friends and associates being shown as Promoters and Directors. A large number of assets were acquired in the names of these promoters by forging their signatures, CBI alleged.

The CBI claimed Singh, while working as Vice Chairman, Lucknow Development Authority in 1982, acquired 10 plots in the names of various persons for which documentary evidence in his own handwriting has been found.

The initial booking amounts were paid by Singh and some of these properties continue to be in his control and that of his family members, it alleged.

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