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‘Most corrupt babu’ may own more assets

The number of properties owned by Akhand Pratap Singh, the former chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, could well cross the list initially compiled by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

india Updated: Oct 03, 2007 03:39 IST
Tushar Srivastava

The number of properties owned by Akhand Pratap Singh, the former chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, could well cross the list initially compiled by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

CBI arrested Singh, a 1967-batch IAS officer, in a disproportionate assets case from his Vasant Kunj farmhouse last week.

Singh, the agency had said, owned movable and immovable properties worth over Rs 200 crore. Before he was arrested, the agency had unearthed 84 immovable properties in prime areas of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Lucknow, Nainital and Bahraich. The properties were registered in either Singh’s name or in the name of one of his family members.

CBI sources said that the list of immovable properties owned by Singh could be more. The agency has unearthed at least five more benami properties (under fictitious names), which they believe are linked to Singh in some way.

Officials said far more startling revelations could come out during Singh’s question, who is in CBI custody for 12 days. Over 100 bank accounts have already been found with huge deposits along with large investments in shares, debentures and luxury cars.

CBI sources said investigations had revealed that a relative of the former chief secretary was involved in his activities and did not rule further arrests.

The examination of Singh’s mobile phone showed that he was in touch with several women and had been exchanging lewd messages. Sources said investigators were seriously looking into the possibility of Singh buying benami properties in the name of these women.

Singh’s name had also featured in the list of most-corrupt IAS officers of UP prepared by IAS officials of the state a few years back. Singh had been booked by the agency under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) in March 2005.

Singh was arrested, as he refused to cooperate with the investigators and was tampering with evidence, influencing witnesses and interfering with the process of law, the CBI said.