Retd IAS officer held for siphoning off Rs 1.59 cr

HRam Bodh Maurya after his arrest in Lucknow on Saturday. Pramod Singh

Former director of Directorate of UP Geology and Mining Ram Bodh Maurya, who is a retired IAS officer, was arrested for his alleged involvement in siphoning off Rs 1.59 crore government fund meant for construction of a road in Mahoba district in 2011.

Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is lodged in jail in NRHM scam case, was the minister for mining then and he is also facing the charges in the case. Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) of police co-operative cell arrested Maurya this noon following an interrogation at its office, said SIB Deputy SP AP Gangwar.

Maurya has been held accused of allotting the work of construction of 4.2 km approach road between Alipur area and a mining site in Mahoba to the state construction agency, Labour & Construction Co-operative Federation (LACCFED), in 2011 without seeking due approval from the Chief Minister's Office. An amount of Rs 4.18 crore was released for the construction, he added.

Gangwar said the investigation has found that Maurya had earlier allotted the work to another state agency, UP Projects Corporation Ltd (UPPCL), following an approval by then chief minister. The UPPCL had allotted the work to a contractor who started the construction of the road. After three months, however, Maurya reportedly allotted the work to LACCFED on February 24, 2011 without seeking approval from the chief minister. He merely informed the government about his decision and was sent a reply that there was "no objection".

Maurya treated this "no objection" as an approval and allotted the work to LACCFED without seeking any order from the chief minister, added SIB DSP.

Earlier, Gangwar had said that both UPPCL and LACCFED had filed the bid for the same construction work quoting the rate of Rs 4.28 crore and Rs 4.17 crore, respectively. But Maurya is accused to have allotted the work to UPPCL even as the lowest bid was quoted by LACCFED. However, when questioned, Maurya could not give a convincing reason behind allotting the work to UPPCL earlier and later transferring the work to LACCFED.

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