Published On: Thu, Nov 14th, 2019

2 more arrested over UP power corporation Provident Fund scam

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Thursday arrested two more people in connection with the UP power corporation’s Rs 2,600-crore PF investment in scam-hit DHFL, taking the total number of arrests to five, a senior official said.

A P Mishra, former MD of UPPCL was arrested on November 5 over Provident Fund scam.

“Abhinav Gupta and his friend Ashish Chowdhury have been arrested in the case,” R P Singh, Director General, EOW, told PTI here.

Three people were earlier arrested in connection with this case. The arrests followed an FIR that was filed at the Hazratganj police station here on November 2 against Praveen Kumar Gupta, former secretary of the Uttar Pradesh State Power Employees’ Trust and the Provident Fund Trust of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, and Sudhanshu Dwivedi, former director of finance at the UPPCL.

Both Gupta and Dwivedi were arrested on the same day. Abhinav is the son of Praveen Kumar Gupta, and sources said he played a key role in transferring the provident fund (PF) money to housing finance firm DHFL.

Three days later on November 5, A P Mishra, former managing director of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, was also arrested in the case that has triggered a war of words between UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma and the opposition, especially the Congress.

The state government had earlier recommended a CBI probe in the case.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had directed the DG of the Economic Offences Wing to investigate the matter till the CBI takes over.

Earlier in the day, several Uttar Pradesh power employees and their family members took to streets to protest against the alleged scam, with an organisation representing them calling for a two-day strike.

Over Rs 2,600 crore of the state power employees’ provident fund (PF) was reportedly invested in the scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), prompting the state government to order a CBI probe.

“Employees demand that the UP government guarantee payment of provident fund and arrest a former CMD of the UPPCL (Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited),” the Vidhyut Karamchari Syankut Sangharsh Samiti (VKSSS) said, adding that it will boycott work on November 18 and 19.

The investment in DHFL was made between March 2017 and December 2018, it claimed. The employees and their family members participated in a protest rally from Hydel field hostel to Shakti Bhawan in the state capital and it was organised by the VKSSS.

VKSSS coordinator Shailendra Dubey said provident fund of employees should be retrieved by the government and officials responsible should be brought to book. The Uttar Pradesh energy minister has said that the government was working on alternatives means to ensure payment to UPPCL employees.

“The state government is acting strictly against those officials who were involved in illegally transferring PF money to DHFL under the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) regime in 2014,” he said. SP president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has denied the charges.

Amid a war of words between the government and the opposition, the power minister slapped a defamation notice against state Congress chief Ajay Kumar Singh Lallu for levelling “arbitrary and far from truth” charges at him. Lallu, on his part, questioned the power minister’s decision to invest the EPF money in a scam-hit firm.

PTI

About the Author