LACFED Scam: Documents seized, education minister to be interrogated

The Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) of Co-operative Cell today seized documents related to release of Rs 40 crore to Labour and Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED) from High Education Department of Uttar Pradesh government for construction and renovation of various school buildings during 2010-2011.

The SIB is scanning the documents in order to interrogate former UP Minister for Higher Education Rakesh Dhar Tripathi regarding the process of release of the government fund to LACCFED and a cut money of Rs 4 crore paid to people in Tripathi's department. The SIB has summoned Tripathi on Saturday for questioning.

The cops collected documents which include details of work orders and the bills generated regarding the works by executive and assistant engineers who were assigned the job. The Lalbagh branch of Punjab National Bank in Qaiserbagh area has also been asked to provide details of transactions of the amount related to the particular work. The LACCFED has an account with the same bank. The ex-chief engineer of LACCFED, Govind Sharan Srivastava, who was in police custody till Sunday, had told the cops during interrogation that Tripathi had got Rs 40 crore from the department's budget allotted to LACCFED.

Srivastava had alleged that Rs 4 crore of the released amount was withdrawn from the bank to be paid as cut money to persons in the Higher Education Department, but the money was returned to LACCFED and was allegedly siphoned off by then chairman Sushil Katiyar, Public Relation Officer (PRO) Praveen Singh and the department's other officials including the then managing director (MD), general manager, chief engineer and the accountant, SIB sources confirmed.

Srivastava also has taken names of former co-operative minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, former BSP MLA Ram Prasad Jaiswal, BSP MLC Ashok Katiyar besides former LACCFED chairman, the PRO and the accountant for allegedly siphoning off government fund meant for construction of buildings.

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