New Delhi / Lucknow:
The Law Enforcement Directorate (DE) on Thursday filed its first indictment against former Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati, even as it tied 60 assets and more than 50 bank accounts of his members and his family worth more than 55 crores, officials said.
The central agency is investigating the former lawmaker, who held the mining portfolio of the government of the Samajwadi party led by Akhilesh Yadav, on charges of money laundering in a case related to the alleged possession of disproportionate assets.
“A total of 57 bank accounts with a total balance of Rs 3.5 crore and 60 real estate properties with a value of Rs 33.45 crore have been provisionally attached. The total market value of these properties on the date is over Rs 55 crore, “the Lucknow zonal office told the ED.
He also filed a lawsuit or indictment sheet against Prajapati and others in a special PMLA (Money Laundering Prevention Act) tribunal in Lucknow for amassing a large number of properties on behalf of members of his family, benamis and companies controlled by his sons. and dummy directors.
ED (Lucknow area) co-director Rajeshwar Singh said further investigation into the case was underway and the seizure of a few other benami properties located in Mumbai, Lucknow and others locations would be carried out and that further prosecution complaints would be filed against other defendants.
Prajapati was booked earlier this year by the ED in the money laundering case after analyzing a vigilance FIR filed against him by Uttar Pradesh police on charges of possession of disproportionate assets. He was already questioned by the central agency in an illegal mining case.
The agency claimed that “Prajapati’s total income when he was minister (from 2013 to 2017) was only Rs 72.38 lakh, including his salary of around Rs 25.4 lakh”.
“He had shown substantial rental income, but most of it was found to be bogus and only inflated his income,” he said.
The agency alleged that assets “on behalf of Prajapati’s family members, benami holders and various companies in which his sons are / were directors were worth more than Rs 36.94 crore (approximately), several times more. and above their total purchasing capacity “.
Prajapati is also accused of raping a woman and of attempting to assault her underage daughter, as well as others.
He was arrested and sent to prison on March 15, 2017 and has been in custody since. He was also arrested by the ED.
The agency raided a number of premises linked to Prajapati and members of his family in Lucknow, Kanpur and Amethi in December last year.
He then stated that he had seized 1.42 lakh rupees in cash, demonetized currency of 11.50 lakh rupees, stamps worth 5 lakh rupees, property documents and computers.
He claimed that “cash deposits in the bank accounts of family members and businesses in Prajapati were not commensurate with their tax returns.”
“It was revealed that during the period the accused (Prajapati) remained as a minister in the government of Uttar Pradesh, the net worth of his business increased exponentially, which he did could not explain satisfactorily during his interrogation, “said the ED.
The agency said that Prajapati’s two sons and daughter-in-law had “deposited substantial undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 15.23 crore under IDS-2016 and paid taxes of around Rs 6 , 85 crore “.
The Income Tax Reporting System (IDS) was a black currency reporting window launched by the Union government in 2016.
“However, Prajapati feigned ignorance about such undisclosed income,” the agency said.