NRHM scam: ED may register case against Kushwaha

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate may register a money laundering case against former UP Family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha after the CBI recently registered a case against him for alleged irregularities in funds allocated to the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

The ED, according to sources, will go through the facts of the First Information Report (FIR) filed against Kushwaha and others by the CBI and register a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and also under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) if the agency finds instances to indicate violations of the either two laws. The ED FIR is called as the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR).

The former BSP minister is already courting controversy after he was recently inducted into the BJP after being sacked by UP Chief Minister Mayawati.

CBI has already arrested four people in the case which is being probed by the agency for alleged irregularities in utilisation of about Rs 10,000 crore of Central funds allocated under the NRHM. The agency had carried out inter-state searches at about 60 locations on January 4, including at the residence of Kushwaha.

CBI had registered five cases on January 2 against certain government and private sector officials, including one against Kushwaha alleging loss of about Rs 28 crore in implementing the Centrally-sponsored scheme meant for 72 districts of UP. Kushwaha, a BSP OBC leader of the state, was sacked by Mayawati following his alleged involvement in the multi-crore scam and has now joined BJP.

NRHM funds to the tune of about Rs 10,000 crore were allocated to UP for the period 2005-06 till date by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.