Even though the UP lokayukta had asked for a CBI investigation, the state government on Thursday ordered a vigilance inquiry into the disproportionate assets and money laundering cases against former minister Naseemuddin Siddique.
Lokayukta justice (retd) NK Mehrotra in his report to the government had recommended a CBI probe into alleged purchase of huge properties by Siddique, who was a powerful minister during the Mayawati government. The properties are allegedly in the name of Siddique, his son, brother and other members of the family.
Similarly, the lokayukta had found illegal nazul land in his possession in Banda, Kanpur and Barabanki and had directed the officers of these districts to take action. Similarly, instructions were issued to the authorities to expedite the land dispute cases pending in the court so that further action could be taken against the former minister. The lokayukta had also sought cancellation of lease of mines given to Siddique's family members.
Special secretary (confidential) Sri Krishna Gopal in his communication to Lokayukta on September 19 has informed him about the government order for a vigilance inquiry. One Ashish Sagar Dixit of Banda had approached the lokayukta against Siddique alleging disproportionate assets and land grabbing. Later one Jagdish Narain Shukla had also moved a petition before the lokayukta in November 2011 against Siddiqui.
The lokayukta after a detailed probe had recommended a CBI probe against him on February 27, 2012, but same day the then Mayawati government had rejected the recommendations. Thereafter, the lokayukta had again forwarded his report to Samajwadi Party government on August 24.
The Lokayukta had reportedly stated in his report that a CBI inquiry was required as "black money" was used to make land and property purchases through QF Educational Society. The minister's wife is the society's secretary.
The properties were purchased in Jyotiba Phule Nagar (Amroha), Bundelkhand's Banda district, Lucknow and Barabanki.
The Lokayukta's recommendation followed after Shukla had filed a complaint that Siddiqui had misused his position to amass wealth in his and his family's name. The cash in QF Educational Society's account was a little more than Rs. 3.62 crore. A majority of this amount (Rs. 1.82 crore) was reportedly raised through donations. In his recommendation, the lokayukta had sought a separate inquiry to probe the antecedents of those who had given donation to the society. Another recommendation pertained to finding out the exact value of the assets, purchased by the minister and his family through the society.
The Lokayukta report said that a land, whose market value was above Rs. 16.39 crore, was shown to have been purchased for a just little above Rs. 46 lakh through the society, the Lucknow address (49 Shyam Nagar) of which was found to be 'fake'.