The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Ms. Mayawati ji said that the State Government was committed to ensure that the culprits of the food scam got severe punishment. Keeping this in view, the State Government had been cooperating with the CBI and all the necessary resources including human resources as demanded by it had been provided.
Giving this information at the Annexe Media Centre here today, the Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh said that the State Government was not shielding anyone involved in this case. He said that severe action would be taken against all those responsible for this scam. Referring to the certain news items that appeared in a section of media, he
said that the same were not based on facts. He said that the State Government had filed a SLP in Hon’ble Supreme Court on a single point related with the sanctioning of prosecution in a fixed time frame.
The Cabinet Secretary said that the Hon’ble Chief Minister ji, immediately after coming to power, got complaints of irregularities in the supply of food grains being provided under Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana, PDS and Mid-day-meal, and she conducted verification of the distribution food grains through various institutions and teams in 54 districts.
Mr. Singh said that on 1st December 2007, the State Government, through a letter, requested for CBI inquiry to investigate the complaints regarding the distribution of food grains all over the State. He said that a reminder was sent on 6th January 2008 by the State Government. The Central Government declined CBI inquiry on 28th March 2008, but because of the 19th December 2007 orders of the Hon’ble High Court, passed while hearing the writ no. 122/2005 and also because of the efforts of the State Government, the CBI, on 3rd November 2008, accepted to investigate nine
cases related with the districts of Ballia and Lakhimpur.
The Cabinet Secretary said that the Hon’ble High Court, while hearing PIL no. 10503 (MB)/09 Vishwanath Chaturvedi vs. Union of India and others, gave orders of investigation on 26th February 2010, 10th March 2010, 7th April 2010 and 3rd December 2010 to various agencies. Presently, various investigating agencies had been conducting the investigation. He said that the CBI had been investigating irregularities committed in Ballia, Kheri, Sitapur, Lucknow, Varanasi and Gonda districts, while SIT had been investigating irregularities of Hardoi, Ramabai Nagar, Shahjahanpur, Sant Ravi Das Nagar, Basti, Lalitpur and Allahabad districts. The EOW had been investigating the same committed in Hamirpur, Mahoba, Lalitpur, Mathura and Jaunpur districts, while the Food Cell had been investigating cases of
Balrampur, Bahraich and Shravasti districts.
Mr. Singh said that CBI had not demanded to sanction the case against any officer so far, on the basis of investigation regarding irregularity in food grain scam. He said that all facilities demanded by CBI and other investigating agencies like – additional staff, vehicle, computer, fax/photo machine etc. for the quick disposal of the inquiry had been made available by the State Government timely.
The Cabinet Secretary said that on the basis inquiry report in the irregularities of food grain distribution by food cell pertaining to 03 districts action was being taken against 82 employees and officers under food and civil supplies department. He said that the High Court in its order passed on 3rd December, 2010 has mentioned that decision should be taken by CBI and other agencies in 03 months for applying for sanctioning of prosecution under Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. If the decision is not being informed in the scheduled period, then action should be taken to file charge sheet considering the sanctioning of prosecution. He said that the State Government had filed SLP on this point only in the Supreme Court.
Mr. Singh said that it may be mentioned that though there is an arrangement of sanctioning of prosecution for government employees under section-19 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and section-197 of IPC, but no fixed time limit for it had been earmarked. He said that CBI had requested to extend the period of investigation between March 2004 and October 2005 to January 2002 to December 2005 in view of no legal lacuna in investigation and trial. Following it, the State Government had given its consent through its notification on 8th April 2011. It may be mentioned that the Hon’ble Chief Minister ji had herself led the government in the State from 3 May 2002 to 26th August 2003. In these circumstances, no question arises to save the skin of any person in the inquiry of food-grain scam by the State Government.