Published On: Wed, Feb 28th, 2024

CBI summons Akhilesh Yadav in illegal mining case on Feb 29

New Delhi: The CBI has asked Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to appear as a witness for questioning on Thursday in connection with illegal mining cases, which were registered five years ago.

CBI had conducted searches at 14 locations in January 2019

The agency issued a notice under section 160 of CrPC, which empowers a police officer to summon witnesses in a probe, and told him to appear before it on February 29 in relation to the case registered in 2019, officials said.

The case is about the granting of mining leases in alleged breach of e-tendering process. The probe was ordered by the Allahabad High Court. The CBI alleged that public servants permitted illegal mining during 2012-16, when Yadav was the chief minister, and unlawfully renewed licences despite a ban by the National Green Tribunal on mining.

The CBI also alleged that the officers facilitated the theft of minerals, extorted money from lease-holders and drivers. The CBI had registered seven preliminary enquiries in 2016 following the directions of the Allahabad High Court to investigate the case of illegal mining of minor minerals.

The agency had claimed that the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s office had approved 13 projects in a single day, officials said. They had said that Yadav, who also had the mining portfolio for sometime, had approved 14 leases, out of which 13 were approved on February 17, 2013, in violation of e-tendering process.

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

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

Yadav, who was the chief minister of the state between 2012 and 2017, had the mining portfolio during 2012-13, which apparently put his role under scrutiny, according to the FIR. He was replaced by Gayatri Prajapati, who became the mining minister in 2013 and was arrested in 2017 after a woman living in Chitrakoot accused him of rape.

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