UP babu accused of corruption has Rs 1L pay, hires top lawyers Rohatgi, Sorabjee | india-news | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
May 28, 2017-Sunday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

UP babu accused of corruption has Rs 1L pay, hires top lawyers Rohatgi, Sorabjee

A bevy of legal luminaries have appeared multiple times in the Supreme Court and the Allahabad high court individually over the past three years to defend Arun Mishra, chief engineer with the UPSIDC.

india Updated: May 13, 2017 13:13 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Arun Mishra

Arun Mishra, chief engineer with the UPSIDC, was arrested by CBI in 2011 for allegedly operating 65 fake bank accounts with the Punjab National Bank, Dehradun, where he is supposed to have parked black money.(Photo courtesy: Linkedin profile)

What do India’s top lawyers -- Soli Sorabjee, Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi and others -- have in common? They have all defended a mid-level bureaucrat in Uttar Pradesh who is accused of amassing disproportionate assets worth crores and running scores of fake bank accounts.

A bevy of legal luminaries have appeared multiple times in the Supreme Court and the Allahabad high court individually over the past three years to defend Arun Mishra, chief engineer with the UP State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC).

The unusual part -- Mishra draws a monthly salary of just over Rs 1 lakh while it is understood that the lawyers often charge a fee ranging between five and twenty lakh per day.

Despite repeated attempts, Mishra was not available for comment. A peon at his office said he wasn’t available and it wasn’t clear when he would arrive.

The CBI arrested him in 2011 for allegedly operating 65 fake bank accounts with the Punjab National Bank, Dehradun, where he is supposed to have parked black money.

In 2011 also, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized his properties on Prithviraj Road in Delhi’s Lutyens Zone, and Dehradun. The Prithviraj Road property, apparently bought in the name of a company called Ajanta Merchants, where his wife and father are listed as directors, is alone worth an estimated Rs 300 crore.

Among his other alleged properties the ED is investigating, are 60 acres of land in UPSIDC Industrial Park on Kursi Road in Barabanki and the Asia School of Engineering and Management on another 52 acres of land.

Court records show he and his family have two palatial houses in upscale Gomti Nagar of Lucknow, five properties in Dehradun and 100 acres of land in Barabanki.

After the CBI investigation into the Dehradun fake accounts case, the SIT filed an FIR against Mishra over his alleged disproportionate assets in 2011 and the probe is ongoing.

The bureaucrat also faced charges in the 2007 Tronica City scam in Ghaziabad, where officers allegedly gave away more than 400 plots at throwaway prices.

Mishra had joined UPSIDC as assistant engineer in 1986 and became chief engineer in 2002 -- superseding many others — at a time he held the coveted charge of managing director of the corporation.

TAINTED TRACK RECORD
  • Arun Mishra, chief engineer with the UP State Industrial Development Corporation, was arrested by the CBI in 2011 for allegedly operating 65 fake bank accounts with the Punjab National Bank, Dehradun, where he is supposed to have parked black money
  • The same year, the Enforcement Directorate seized his properties on Prithviraj Road in Delhi’s Lutyens Zone and Dehradun
  • After the CBI investigation into the Dehradun fake accounts case, the SIT filed an FIR against Mishra over his alleged disproportionate assets in 2011 and the probe is ongoing. The bureaucrat also faced charges in the 2007 Tronica City scam in Ghaziabad where officers allegedly gave away more than 400 plots at throwaway prices.

In August 2014, Mishra was dismissed from UPSIDC on the orders of Allahabad high court for getting his job on forged degrees. But he moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s decision.

In the high court, he was defended by Shanti Bhushan, who apparently would fly down to Allahabad whenever there was a hearing, sources said. Soli Sorabjee, Harish Salve, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Gopal Subramaniam, Nageshwar Rao, Shanti Bhushan argued against his dismissal, at different stages, in the Supreme Court, which stayed the high court’s order. Mishra rejoined as UPSIDC chief engineer within a month, in September 2014.

Rohatgi, now the country’s attorney general, appeared for Mishra in the SC in the case related to the CBI probe against him.

In 2016 Mishra was deprived of his powers as UPSIDC chief engineer and was restricted to oversee development work in nine revenue divisions. He then hired Kapil Sibal to fight his case in the SC.

Salman Khurshid appeared for Mishra in the SC in a case wherein the Allahabad HC had passed different orders relating to his alleged forged mark sheets and engineering degrees.