Lucknow:  In a case which highlighted the rampant corruption in Uttar Pradesh, Lokayukt NK Mehrotra on Tuesday recommended the state government to take disciplinary action against Pilibhit Chief Development Officer (CDO) Surender Singh and his subordinates in a fraud case.

The CDO and his subordinates have been accused of transferring Rs 94.23 lakh of MLA Land Area Development (LAD) fund allotted to State Minority Welfare and Haj Minister Anees Ahmad Khan to a society run by the minister’s family members. The Lokayukt has also proposed the state government to take back the MLA fund allotted to the society.

However, in the absence of any proposed guidelines under the MLA fund to initiate any action against legislators, the Lokayukt has left the final decision in this regard with the Chief Minister.
Noticeably, former Minister Ram Saran Verma filed a complaint with the Lokayukt against Bisalpur BSP legislator Anees Ahmed Khan last year.  Verma alleged Khan of not only misusing the legislature fund but also acquiring disproportionate assets.

After Lokayukt’s probe it was discovered that in the financial year 2007-08, Khan allotted Rs 94.23 lakh from his MLA fund to Shafi Khan Memorial Muslim Education Society. The probe report also revealed that Khan himself is the Manager of the society, his wife Mallka is the Chairman, brother Akeel is Deputy Manager, whereas his other family members represent the committee of the society. The society has three education institutes in Bisalpur including Shafi Public Senior Secondary School, Nisha Girls Inter College and Shafi Degree College.

The Lokayukt also found that fund allotted to the society was not in accordance with the principles of legislative council regional development fund.

The Lokayukt after sending the report regarding Board’s workings to the Chief Minister, General Secretary, Principal Secretary Recruitments and Principal Secretary Rural Development, said that Pilibhit’s CDO was violating the norms mentioned under 4.1 provisions by not following the MLA fund limitation of Rs 25 lakh. He also recommended for legal action for the return of Rs 63.23 lakh from the society.

However, Khan accused in thirteen cases termed the charges against him as an act of political vendetta. Defending himself, Khan said that the complainant in the case was a political rival and had made several complaints against him in past. He added, “As far as the allegations are concerned, CDO has the right to approve and sanction the amount of MLA fund to a society.”