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Allahabad HC orders CBI probe against Yadav Singh

In a major embarrassment for the UP government, the Allahabad high court on Thursday ordered a CBI probe against tainted official Yadav Singh, whose disproportionate assets were exposed in a raid by the IT department several months ago. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had ordered for a CBI inquiry on a PIL moved by RTI activist Nutan Thakur. Singh was holding triple charge as engineer-in-chief of NOIDA, Greater NOIDA as well as YEIDA. The state government had suspended Singh in December last year.

The PIL sought a CBI probe into the disproportionate assets acquired by Singh as well as into his meteoric rise in the official hierarchy from a small time assistant engineer to engineer-in-chief of three most lucrative organisations of UP in no time. 

The hearing of the case was complete on Wednesday. The court had posted the case for Thursday for dictation of its verdict which remained unfinished due to paucity of time.

In the hearing, the court said it had no faith in the one-member Justice AN Verma commission formed by the government to probe into corruption charges against the tainted engineer. After hearing the pleas of advocate general, Noida authority’s lawyer and Yadav’s own lawyer, the court had said that in the name of inquiry by a judicial commission, even the departmental inquiry against Yadav had been stalled, which was wholly unwarranted. 

The Bench also said that the judicial commission had its limits and hence a thorough probe was necessary. The petitioner had given details of Income Tax raids on Yadav’s establishments in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad in November last year and alleged recovery of illegal properties and sought a CBI probe into the matter. 

Thakur had alleged that she had filed a supplementary affidavit giving facts, including details of various alleged false companies floated by Singh for siphoning off illegal money.

Interestingly, the UP government had allegedly moved heaven and earth to prevent a CBI probe. During the pendency of the PIL before the high court, the state government even went to the extent of moving a special leave petition before the Supreme Court to restrain lower court from hearing the petition. 

The state government counsel had opposed the PIL as not being maintainable and noted that the government had also constituted a judicial commission to probe the matter. The court also directed CBI to include people associated with the suspended engineer in its probe. 
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