Accused official allowed illegal minerals mining across 300 acres in U.P.: CBI

During searches, the agency found documents of 44 immovable properties said to be worth about โ‚น100 crore

A retired IAS official who has been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a corruption case had allegedly allowed illegal mining of minor mineral across 300 acres in Uttar Pradeshโ€™s Kaushambi through fresh and renewed leases in violation of the rules.

Accused Satyendra Singh was the then District Magistrate of Kaushambi. He has been named in the FIR along with nine alleged beneficiaries. During searches, the agency found documents of 44 immovable properties said to be worth about โ‚น100 crore.

Listing the instances of alleged violations, the FIR alleges that Mr. Singh granted a fresh lease to one Nepali Nishad for a period of three years from December 2013, for mining in the 10-acre area located in Umrawal village in Kaushambi. The application for mining lease had been submitted in December 2008.

Another beneficiary, Nar Narain Mishra, also got a fresh licence for mining in the 10-acre area of Bhakhanda. Both the fresh licences were issued without following the e-tendering process as per government orders.

Nine existing leases were renewed by the accused official. Beneficiary Ramakant Dwivedi got two licences renewed for mining in two 30-acre land parcels in Lohkat, while Munni Lalโ€™s leases for 30-acre land in Lohkat and another 30 acres in Chhekwa were also renewed.

The leases allowing mining across 30-acre land parcels in Rasulpur, Manjhanpur and Dedhawal, earlier issued to Shiv Prakash Singh, Khemraj Singh and Ram Pratap Singh were renewed. Accused Ram Abhilashโ€™s lease for mining across 75 acres in Ram Nagar and Yogendra Singh’s lease for 10 acres in Pabhosha were also extended, it is alleged.

The FIR alleges that mining activities had been stopped through an order in the whole State from July 2011 for want of the mandatory environmental clearance certificate. On furnishing the certificate, district authorities allowed mining to resume after obtaining orders from the State government. An extension equivalent to their obstructed period was also granted to three lease holders, Junaid Ahmad, Ram Prakash and Khemraj Singh, involving 30 acres each.

As alleged, issuance of fresh licences and renewal of the existing ones without following the e-tendering process resulted in revenue losses to the exchequer as the rate of royalty to be paid by licence holders had to be fixed in accordance with the rates of the highest bidders. There was no scheme for renewal of leases through the tender system.

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