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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

UPPCL PF scam: EOW focuses on clerks to nail officials involved

cities Updated: Nov 20, 2019 00:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

LUCKNOW Three clerical staff of the accounts section of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) may prove crucial in exposing officials, including serving and retired as well as other independent people, involved in the multi-crore scam of employees’ provident fund (PF) investment in the Mumbai-based Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), said senior official of Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

The EOW officials said the three accounts section employees had been made main witnesses against the officials involved in the PF scam. He said the employees’ statements would be crucial during the court trial.

A senior EOW official said privy to investigation said the statements of three clerical staff of the accounts section had been recorded during multiple hours questioning last week. The revelations made by them were recorded before the judicial magistrate under section 164 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to ensure that they do not turn hostile later during the court trial, he said.

The official said the three employees of the accounts department had revealed multiple facts related to the board meetings related to investments of provident funds. He said the employees revealed that the note sheets of the board meetings of UPPCL employees trust were tampered and duplicate note sheets were prepared.

He said the three employees also revealed about the people of the investment brokerages firms and their association with senior authorities of the UPPCL, including its former managing director AP Mishra, former director of finance Sudhanshu Dwivedi and former secretary of employees’ trust Praveen Kumar Gupta.

The three UPPCL authorities, AP Mishra, Sudhanshu Dwivedi and Praveen Kumar Gupta have already been arrested. Besides, Gupta’s son Abhinav Gupta and his broker firm associate Ashish Chowdhary were arrested and sent to jail in the same matter.

Investigations done by EOW so far have revealed that over ₹65 crore was paid as commission amount to 14 brokerage firms hired to invest ₹4,122.5 crore of UPPCL employees’ provident fund in multiple short-term fixed deposits with the DHFL since March 2017.

The amount of over ₹65 crore was transferred to 14 different bank accounts of brokerage firms, 12 of which were fake and floated only for the UPPCL employees PF fund investment. Interestingly, the promoters of these 12 brokerages firms with fake addresses were somehow linked to senior UPPCL authorities involved in deciding the PF amount investment in the DHFL. Till September, ₹ 1,854.3 crore had been recovered after the FDs matured. However, ₹2,268 crore remains with the private firm that came under the scanner of the ED in October earlier this year.