New Delhi / Lucknow:
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed its first indictment against former Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati on Thursday despite attaching 60 assets and over 50 bank accounts to him and his family members worth over $ 55, they said. officials.
The central agency is investigating the former lawmaker, who held the mining portfolio in the Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav, on money laundering allegations in a case related to the alleged possession of disproportionate assets.
“A total of 57 bank accounts with a total balance of Rs 3.5 crore and 60 immovable properties worth Rs 33.45 crore have been temporarily attached. The total market value of such properties to date is over Rs 55 Crore,” the regional office of Lucknow e said ED.
He also filed a prosecution complaint or indictment against Prajapati and others before a special PMLA (Money Laundering Prevention) court in Lucknow on charges of amassing a large number of properties in the names of his family members, benamis and companies controlled through his sons and dummy directors.
Joint ED Director (Lucknow area) Rajeshwar Singh said further investigation into the matter is underway and the merger of several more Benami properties located in Mumbai, Lucknow and other places will be done and further prosecution appeals will be made. filed against the other accused.
Prajapati was booked earlier this year by ED on the money laundering case after analyzing a FIR vigilance raised against him by Uttar Pradesh police on charges of disproportionate property possession. He was already being investigated by the central agency in a case of illegal mining.
The agency claimed that “Prajapati’s total income when he was minister (from 2013 to 2017) was only Rs 72.38, including his salary of around Rs 25.4.”
“He had shown a substantial rental income but most of it was found to be bogus and only to inflate his income,” she said.
The agency claimed that the assets “which stood in the name of Prajapati’s family members, benam holders and various companies where his sons are / were directors were found to be worth over Rs 36.94 crore (approximately), which is several times during and above their total purchasing capacity “.
Prajapati is also accused of raping a woman and attempting to harass her minor daughter, along with others.
He was arrested and sent to jail on March 15, 2017 and has since been remanded in custody. He was arrested by ED as well.
The agency had raided a number of premises linked to Prajapati and his family members in Lucknow, Kanpur and Amethi in December last year.
She later said she had seized Rs 1.42 lak in cash, the demonized coin of Rs 11.50 lak, five-lak stamp paper, property-related documents and computers.
She had claimed that “cash deposits in the bank accounts of Prajapati family members and companies were found to be out of proportion to their income tax records”.
“It was found that during the period the accused (Prajapati) remained as a minister in the government of Uttar Pradesh, his company grew exponentially in net worth, which he could not satisfactorily explain during his examination,” he had said ED.
The agency had said that both Prajapati’s sons and daughter-in-law had “presented a substantial undisclosed income in the amount of Rs 15.23 million under IDS-2016 and paid taxes of around Rs 6.85 Cro”.
The Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) was a black money declaration window launched by the Union government in 2016.
“However, Prajapati slandered for ignorance of any such undisclosed income,” the agency said.