Police have started questioning AP Mishra, former MD of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation and two other officers during remand in connection with the scam in the PF of Power Employees in Uttar Pradesh. In this case, PK Gupta, Secretary, Power Sector Employees Trust and Sudhanshu Dwivedi, Finance Director, have also been taken on remand.
On Wednesday, the Police and Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) presented these three in the CJM court. The court handed over the trio to the police on a three-day police remand. It is being told that the three will be questioned face to face in this matter.
In this case, UP Power Corporation Chairman and Energy Secretary Aparna V has already been removed, while some more officers are also expected to be removed.
Stuck over Rs 2200 crore
Nearly 2200 crores deposited in the provident fund accounts of the employees of the electricity department in Uttar Pradesh is stuck because the company where that amount was invested has come under suspicion and its transaction has been stopped.
The amount of PF of employees was earlier invested in nationalized banks but in the year 2017 it started being invested in Dewan Housing Finance Limited Company i.e. DHFL.
Investment started during the BJP’s reign, but the time of this process was such that it was the authority of the Samajwadi Party government and the BJP government in the state. As soon as the matter came to cognizance, the government ordered a CBI inquiry.
State Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma says, “The trust decides where to invest PF. There is no role of minister or department in it. The department takes action on receiving any complaint and it has been done. The foundation of this scandal was laid during the Samajwadi Party government. “
RP Singh, DGP of the investigating agency EOW, says that evidence of tampering has also been found in the records.
Actually, the funds of PF were being invested only through FDs in nationalized banks till December 2016 whereas in December 2016 a proposal was made to fund PNB Housing which was against the rules.
Why were the monies not deposited in nationalized banks?
According to experts, the funds of PF could be deposited only in nationalized banks and not in any other benefit scheme or private agency.
According to RP Singh, DGP, EOW, “In the trust meeting on 16 March 2017, it was decided to invest the amount of PF in DHFL, which was issued on 17 March. On 18 March, Rs 18 crore RTGS was paid to DHFL. Power Corporation MD AP Mishra had resigned already on 16 March, despite this, he also reached the meeting of the Board of Trust on 22 March where they tried to give an official shape to the order given on 16th march.”
The trust meeting to decide the investment of PF money in DHFL has the signature of Sanjay Aggarwal, MD AP Mishra, Director Finance Sudhanshu Dwivedi, Director (Personnel Management and Administration) Satya Prakash Pandey and Secretary Praveen Kumar Gupta.
One of the senior journalist said, “These people did not call the staff representative at this meeting, and took this decision. If the representative of the employees had also come to the meeting then the matter would have come to light on the same day. Because of not calling the employee representative, the whole matter remained confidential and the wrong decision of one government was being implemented in the other government.
The Power Sector Employees Trust invested around Rs 4,000 crore in the DHFL in March 2017 of the Provident Fund of around 45,000 employees, engineers and officers of the electricity department.
A year ago, 1800 crore rupees came back on maturity, but the amount of around 2268 crores is hanging in the balance because the Bombay High Court has stopped the payment of DHFL company on the information related to many suspicious companies and deals.
Akhilesh accused the current government
In this case, Praveen Kumar Gupta, the then Secretary of the Power Sector Employees Trust and Sudhanshu Dwivedi, former Finance Director (Finance), were arrested by the police after an FIR filed by the government while after a long interrogation on Tuesday, Managing Director of Power Corporation The AP Mishra was also arrested. The government has directed a CBI inquiry into the case.
The Energy Minister has blamed the previous government in this matter while former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blames the present government.
Akhilesh Yadav says, “During the SP government, no money was given to DHFL. In this case the government is completely at fault and the Chief Minister should resign directly.”
The DHFL company was in the news recently because some of its promoters were questioned by the Enforcement Directorate, a former associate of Dawood Ibrahim, Iqbal Mirchi, for his relationship with the company. The government has assured the employees of the electricity department that their money will not be drowned, but the employees are not satisfied with the assurance of the government and are performing protest in many places including the capital Lucknow.
BJP and Samajwadi Party are accusing each other, but the Congress Party has directly demanded the resignation of Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma in this matter.
State Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu has asked, “If this decision was made in the previous government too, then how did the money continue to accumulate there for two and a half years despite being a black listed company.”
Electricity department employees will protest
At the same time, the electricity employees of Uttar Pradesh protested in several places including the capital Lucknow on Tuesday to protest against the provident fund scam and decided to boycott the two-day work from the upcoming November 18.
Former MD of Power Corporation, arrested in this case, AP Mishra is said to be very close to former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
In the year 2012, soon after the formation of the SP government under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav, this post usually given to a person of IAS cadre was given to AP Mishra. AP Mishra also got service extension three times after retirement.