CBI summons Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday as witness in 2019 illegal mining cases


PTI, Feb 28, 2024, 3:33 PM IST

Image source: PTI / File

New Delhi: The CBI has summoned Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav as a ”witness” to record his statement on Thursday in illegal mining cases registered five years ago.

The cases pertain to the issuance of mining leases in alleged violation of e-tendering process. The Allahabad High Court had ordered the probe.

It is alleged that public servants allowed illegal mining during 2012-16, the period when Yadav was chief minister, and illegally renewed licences despite a ban by the National Green Tribunal on mining.

In a notice issued under section 160 of CrPC, the agency has asked Yadav to appear before it on February 29, officials said. The section allows a police officer to summon witnesses in a probe. ”He is not the accused. He is a witness,” a senior official in the know of the development told PTI.

Reacting to the notice in the cases registered in 2019, Yadav attacked the BJP and linked the CBI move with the approaching elections.

”The SP is on the maximum target (of the BJP). In 2019, I got a notice in some matter as there was Lok Sabha elections then. Now, when the election is approaching again, I am getting a notice again,” Yadav told Times Now Navbharat’s ‘Navbharat Navnirman Manch’ programme in Lucknow.

”I know, when election comes, notice will also come,” he said. ”Why this nervousness?. If in past 10 years, you (BJP) have done a lot of work then why are you nervous?”

He took a swipe at the BJP over the issue of development also, saying, ”The prime minister landed here on a hercules plane at the expressway. It was built by Samajwadis. Why you could not make such highways in the country where Hercules can land.”

According to officials, it is alleged that when Yadav was chief minister, officers allowed the theft of minerals, and extorted money from lease-holders and drivers.

The CBI filed seven preliminary enquiries — which initiates the process of verification of allegations by the agency based on which a decision to file an FIR is taken — in 2016 on the directions of the Allahabad High Court to probe the case of illegal mining of minor minerals.

The agency had alleged that then chief minister Yadav’s office cleared 13 projects in a single day on February 17, 2013 in violation of e-tendering process, officials said.

Yadav, who was the chief minister of the state between 2012 and 2017, also held the mining portfolio during 2012-13 apparently bringing his office’s role under scanner, according to the FIR.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) claimed that on February 17, 2013, the leases were granted by the Hamirpur district magistrate B Chandrakala after getting approval from the chief minister’s office in violation of its 2012 e-tender policy, which was ratified by the Allahabad High Court on January 29 that year.

The CBI had carried out searches at 14 locations in January 2019 in connection with its FIR against 11 people, including IAS officer B Chandrakala, Samajwadi Party MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit, who unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly election on a BSP ticket, to probe the alleged illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district during 2012-16.

Yadav was succeeded by Gayatri Prajapati who took charge as mining minister in 2013. Prajapti was arrested in 2017 following a rape complaint by a woman from Chitrakoot.

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