NRHM scam: ED begins identification of assets
New Delhi/Lucknow: The Enforcement Directorate has begun identifying assets of the accused in the Uttar Pradesh NRHM scam for attachment under the provisions of money laundering laws. The agency had some time back registered 14 separate cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against former UP family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and others in the alleged financial irregularities in the centrally sponsored National Rural Health Mission.
The ED, according to sources, is working to tighten the case from the financial angle even as the CBI has filed at least three charge sheets against a number of people in the case. The agency is identifying movable and immovable properties, in the state and outside, of the people named in its complaint and expects to seize the properties as "proceeds of crime" under the stringent anti-money laundering law.
The CBI had registered 13 FIRs in the same case and has arrested Kushwaha, who was a minister in the previous Mayawati government, in connection with its probe into this case. In its Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of an FIR, the agency has named various individuals and former government officials of Uttar Pradesh including senior IAS officer and former Principal Secretary of Health Department Pradeep Shukla, former General Manager of UP Jal Nigam`s PSU Construction and Design Service P K Jain, the then Project Manager B N Srivastava amongst others who have been named in the CBI complaint.
The agency has registered the cases after going through financial records of utilising Rs 10,000 crore funds allocated under the centrally-sponsored National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to Uttar Pradesh by the Union Health Ministry. ED is also probing the wealth proceeds of the allegedly siphoned off government funds for the scheme and will soon issue notices and question some of those arrested by the CBI in the case under the PMLA. Kushwaha, however, has not been named in the CBI charge sheet and is under custody at present. A special CBI court in Ghaziabad has recently extended his judicial custody till May 1.