New Delhi: The CBI has registered a case against 189 people, including 16 government servants, for alleged irregularities in the Rs 1,437-crore Gomti river front development project in Lucknow undertaken during the tenure of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh headed by Akhilesh Yadav, according to officials, who said this was one of the highest numbers of people booked by the agency on a single FIR. The case was earlier registered at Police Station Gomti Nagar, Lucknow.
After registering the case, the agency sleuths swooped down on 40 locations spread across 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, Alwar in Rajasthan and Kolkata in West Bengal, they said. Searches were conducted at Lucknow, Sitapur, Raebareilly, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Agra, Bulandshahar, Etah, Moradabad, Meerut, Etawah, Alwar, Kolkata at premises of all the accused. The officials recovered incriminating documents/articles during searches.
The agency had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into the case, which was converted into an FIR against 16 officials and 173 contractors and their firms on June 2 and was made public on Monday to ensure a smooth conduct of searches in connection with the case. Uttar Pradesh is going to polls in the first quarter of the next year.
This was one the highest numbers of people named in a CBI case. Earlier, 587 people were booked in connection with the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.
This is the second FIR related to the project by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). An earlier FIR has already covered work orders worth over Rs 1,031 crore.
In the present FIR, in which 16 officials, including chief engineers, and 173 contractors are accused, the agency has said 30 notices inviting tenders are under the scanner. Of these, only five were published in newspapers while the remaining 25 forged letters were sent to the Department of Information and Publication to show compliance, it has alleged.
In the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the Samajwadi Party, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress will try to wrest power from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).