The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday registered two fresh cases in connection with the Uttar Pradesh mining scam after raids across the state, PTI reported. The case pertains to the renewal of sand mining lease licences allegedly in violation of the e-tendering process introduced by the state government in 2012.

The agency named Gayatri Prajapati, who was a former minister in the Samajwadi Party government, and four IAS officers – Principal Secretary in the Geology and Mining Department Jiwesh Nandan, Special Secretary Santosh Kumar and District Magistrates Abhay and Vivek – as accused.

The agency has alleged in the case involving Prajapati, beneficiaries Shiv Singh and Sukhraj used the influence of the minister to get their leases renewed. It also alleged that Nandan, Kumar and the then district magistrate of Fatehpur, Abhay, allegedly conspired with the minister to get the lease renewed in 2014 in the matter of Sukhraj while Singh renewed it two years before but after the e-tendering policy was introduced.

“It was alleged that the then DM, Fatehpur [Abhay] fraudulently executed deeds in compliance of illegal orders of renewal of three sand mining leases in favour of the said private persons,” Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said.

In the second case, the agency has alleged that Vivek while posted as the district magistrate
in Deoria allowed renewal of lease of Sharda Yadav [now deceased] and Phool Badan Nishad.

Yadav, whose petition for renewal of lease was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on April 5, 2013, managed to get it renewed the next day in conspiracy with Vivek and other officials of the district, the agency alleged.

Earlier in the day, the CBI conducted raids in Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Fatehpur, Azamgarh, Allahabad, Noida, Gorakhpur, Moradabad and Deoria, among others.

CBI spokesperson Wakankar said Rs 49 lakh was recovered from the home of Abhay Singh who is currently posted as Bulandshahr district magistrate and Rs 10 lakh was recovered from Devi Sharan Upadhyay’s home, who was posted as the additional district magistrate at that time. Documents related to the properties were also recovered.

Abhay issued a statement claiming that the searches had nothing to do with his tenure at Fatehpur. “The visit of CBI team related to irregularities in mining leases awarded in district Fatehpur. It was not related to my posting in Bulandshahr,” he said. “No undeclared assets were recovered by the CBI. The details of cash recovered from me have been provided to the CBI team,” he added.

The probe agency had taken over the mining scam investigation on the directions of Allahabad High Court and registered seven preliminary inquiries. Five have been converted into first information reports.