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Sunday, November 28, 2021

SP leader Gayatri Prajapati’s income saw sharp spike after he became minister: ED

The income of Samajwadi Party leader Gayatri Prajapati — currently lodged in prison in connection with a rape case — and his family members, witnessed a sudden spike from 2013-14 till 2016 during the time he was a minister in the Samajwadi Party government, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) charge sheet has revealed.

The ED had filed a charge sheet against Prajapati on April 8 before the Special PMLA court in Lucknow.

“The ED probe revealed that the incomes of Prajapati’s family members witnessed a sudden and sharp spike from FY 2013-14 and kept increasing till 2016,” an ED official said.

Prajapati held the portfolio of Mining Minister of Uttar Pradesh, during 2013 to 2016 in the Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav.

The official said that after 2016, their incomes took a serious dip, “prima-facie establishing” that Prajapati was projecting his illegal gratification or black money as the legitimate income of his family members.

In the charge sheet the ED also alleged that Prajapati had concealed the details of his properties in the election affidavit for 2012.

“However, the same were subsequently shown in the election affidavit of 2017. In 2017, he didn’t show his daughters as dependent in his affidavit although they are till date dependent on him. Also, complete details of properties of his family members were not mentioned in his affidavit. He was found to file false and misleading election affidavits,” an ED official said.

The official claimed that Prajapati could also not explain the source of funds for acquiring the properties in his names and attempted to shift the onus on his Chartered Accountant.

He said that his income tax returns were also found to be manipulated and bogus inflation in his income from rental income was noticed by the agency.

The official further said that Prajapati’s wife used to do stitching and knitting at home till 2012 and earned Rs 10,000-15,000 per month and after 2012 she was only a housewife, but her Income Tax returns reflected substantial income from construction business and agriculture over the years.

The official said, “Prajapati’s wife acquired a house in Mumbai’s Lonavala in 2013 for Rs 69 lakh from loans taken from her son and other persons but the former minister was found evasive.

He said that the ED probe found that the details of the payments for the property were “bogus” and no such payment was made from banking transactions.

The ED official said that during the probe it was also found that Prajapati’s daughters are still studying and had no business whatsoever.

“However, their ITRs reflect substantial business income from property dealing and agriculture,” he said, adding that till March 2017 when he went to jail, all bank accounts of his wife and daughters were operated by Prajapati himself.

The official also claimed that substantial cash was also found deposited in the bank accounts of Prajapati and his family members and their companies immediately after he became a Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government in 2013.

“Total cash deposited in the bank accounts of his family members between 2013 and 2017 was around Rs 6.60 crore,” the official said, adding that his both sons and daughter-in-law had also filed substantial undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 15.23 crore under the IDS-2016 an paid taxes of around Rs 6.85 crore.

The official pointed out that probe further revealed that Prajapati had purchased several benami properties in the names of his employees and associates for which payments were made on his directions, mostly in cash.

“This fact was further corroborated by his manager and various other persons examined by the ED,” the official said.

ED Investigation also revealed that after becoming a Minister in the year 2013, Prajapati transferred his shares in his company MGA Colonizers to his son Anurag and resigned but the share transfer was merely a fa�ade and actual control over the company was still retained by Prajapati himself and all decisions were effectively taken by him, the official said.

The official alleged that immediately after Prajapati was appointed as Minister, his sons became directors in multiple companies which purchased several properties.

“In March-2014, five fresh companies were also formed by them and received substantial funds from various shell companies without any business relation or proper agreement or documentation,” he said.

The official said that the money infused by such shell companies was found to be rotated among related business entities and personal accounts of his sons and finally used for purchase of properties and further investments.

“ED revealed that Prajapati’s total income when he was a Minister between 2013 to 2017 was only Rs 72.38 lakh including his salary around Rs 25.40 lakh only. He had shown substantial rental income but most of it was found to be bogus and only to inflate his income,” he said.

“However, the assets standing in the name of the family members of Prajapati, the benami holders and various companies wherein his sons are or were directors is found to be over Rs 36.94 crore which is several times over and above the their total purchasing capacity,” he added.

The ED had registered a case of money laundering in 2019 against Prajapati and others on the basis of FIR registered by CBI into alleged irregularities in the renewal of sand mining leases in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district between 2012 and 2016.

It has been alleged that Prajapati in collusion with other government officials and private persons, had got the mining leases renewed without following proper process of e-tendering and thereby aiding and abetting illegal mining in the district.

The official said that the Prajapati is also being probed by the UP Vigilance in disproportionate assets case on November 26 last year.

The ED had registered a case of money laundering last year against Prajapati and others on the basis of FIR registered by CBI into alleged irregularities in the renewal of sand mining leases in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district between 2012 and 2016.

It has been alleged that Prajapati in collusion with other government officials and private persons, had got the mining leases renewed without following proper process of e-tendering and thereby aiding and abetting illegal mining in the district.

The official said that the Prajapati is also being probed by the UP Vigilance in disproportionate assets case on November 26 last year.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)


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