An ex-chairman and managing director of the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Construction and Development Ltd. who are accused of stealing MGNREGA funds had bail pleas denied by the Allahabad High Court.
The CBI was instructed by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to look into claims of financial theft and abuse of authority under the MGNREGA in the state’s Balrampur, Gonda, Mahoba, Sonbhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mirzapur, and Kushinagar districts between 2007 and 2010.
Following an inquiry, the CBI filed a charge sheet against Bhikhari Singh, the former chairman of UPCCDL, and Vinod Singh, the organization’s then managing director.
An earlier writ case (Sachchidanand Gupta (Sachchey) Vs. Union of India) was submitted to the high court and accused the central government of misappropriating money granted to various districts of Uttar Pradesh under the MGNREGA Act, 2005.
While granting the writ petition on January 31, 2014, the Lucknow division of the Allahabad high court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an investigation into the misuse and misappropriation of funds as well as the abuse of power under the MGNREGA with regard to seven districts of Uttar Pradesh, namely Balrampur, Gonda, Mahoba, Sonbhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mirzapur, and Kushinagar from 2007 to 2010.
The CBI opened a criminal case at the CBI police station in the Ghaziabad district in accordance with the high court’s directive. After conducting an investigation, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Bhikhari Singh and Vinod Singh.
The applicants’ attorney argued during the court proceedings that the accusations against them were completely unfounded and lacking in any solid supporting documentation. They claimed that this made them eligible for bail.
The CBI’s attorney opposed the applicants’ request for bail, claiming that they had formed a plot with other accused parties and were complicit in money-laundering. The petitioners, he continued, are even parties to similar cases from years past, making this a recurrence of the offence.