Former Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited Managing Director AP Mishra was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the investment of over Rs 2,600 crore of the state power employees’ provident fund in the crisis-hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited, PTI reported.
“Mishra has been arrested...Economic Offence Wing of the state police is probing the matter and strict action will be taken against those involved in this case,” Uttar Pradesh Deputy General of Police OP Singh said.
A first information report was filed at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Sunday against then Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh State Power Employees’ Trust Praveen Kumar Gupta and Sudhanshu Dwivedi, the former director of the UPPCL. The two were arrested on the same day.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath-led state government removed the power secretary and managing director of the corporation, an unidentified official said, according to The Tribune. Aparna U was transferred to the irrigation department as secretary and M Devraj will be the new power secretary and UPPCL managing director. Devraj is a senior Indian Administrative Service official who held a central deputation.
The Opposition Samajwadi Party and the Congress has called for the resignations of power minister Shrikant Sharma and his principal secretary.
The Samajwadi Party asked for an inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into the scam. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav dismissed allegations that his government had transferred the employees’ provident fund to DHFL. “No EPF money of power employees was transferred to the DHFL during the SP regime,” the former chief minister said at a press conference in Lucknow.
“Adityanath should step down,” Yadav added. “The chief minister is so weak that he cannot even ask state Power Minister Shrikant Sharma to resign.”
The decision to deposit the General Provident and Contributory Provident Fund in DHFL was reportedly taken by trustees of the Uttar Pradesh Power Sector Employees’ Trust in April 2014, a letter by the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board Engineers Association said.
Surplus amount of nearly Rs 2,631 crore of employees’ contribution was deposited in DHFL’s fixed deposit plan between March 2017 and December 2018. The state electricity board’s association claimed that Rs 1,600 crore of the employees were still with the housing finance firm. The employees have sought assurance from the state administration that their money will be returned.
DHFL faces allegations of siphoning bank loans to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore through shell corporations. Last week, the state government had recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the matter, and Adityanath had instructed the director general of the Economic Offences Wing to look into the case until the central agency took over.
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