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Allahabad HC asks Uttar Pradesh DGP why shouldn’t probe into Rs 5,000 crore Jaunpur fraud be handed over to ED or EOW

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The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh DGP that why shouldn’t the investigation into a scam of Rs 5,000 crore in various schemes of Jaunpur be handed over to the Enforcement Directorate or Economic Offences Wing in the national interest.

The Division Bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla and Justice Shree Prakash Singh passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Baba Beti.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is a whistle-blower and has highlighted a fraud/scam amounting to more than Rs 5,000 crore. It is submitted that petitioner is receiving constant threat from the persons interest/ involved in the fraud.

She further submitted that fraud involves transfer of money to safe havens outside the country and big fishes are involved in the fraud having their addresses/ living all over the country.

Ratan Singh, Additional Government Advocate, submitted that as per his instructions, investigation is still pending and petitioner is not appearing before the Investigating Officer for recording her statement under Section 161 CrPC.

Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that there is a threat to her life and she is not in a position to go to District Jaunpur particularly to the Investigating Officer as she is receiving constant threat from the persons interested/ involved in the fraud. For this purpose, he has drawn attention of the Court to the article on some website, which too has highlighted the fraud.

Drawing attention to the representation dated October 21, 2021, it is submitted that although petitioner has given representation to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh as well as Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh but till date nothing has been done to transfer the investigation.

The Court observed that the DGP, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh be directed to consider the representation of the petitioner and for this purpose he shall also provide an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner in- person.

It is further made clear that full protection shall be granted to the petitioner so that no harm is caused to the petitioner while she approaches the Director General of Police, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, the court said.

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The Court directed the Additional Government Advocate to communicate and sent a copy of the petition as well as a copy of the order to the Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Uttar Pradesh as well as Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh for necessary consideration.

For this purpose, petitioner is also allowed to file a fresh representation clearly disclosing her parentage, exact residential address, mobile number, details of her working place etc before the Director General of Police, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh along with certified copy of the order, on which he shall fix date, time and place for giving personal hearing to the petitioner.

The representation shall be considered and decided by the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh strictly in accordance with law preferably within a period of four weeks’ from the date of filing of such representation before him.

In case, the Director General of Police, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh finds that there is no necessity of transferring the investigation, he shall ensure that full security is given to the petitioner for appearing before the Investigating Officer.

The Court clarified that in case, the representation for transferring the investigation is rejected then the Director General of Police, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh shall pass reasoned and speaking order as to why it is not appropriate to refer the matter to the Economic Offences Wing or to the Enforcement Directorate as from the nature of allegations and manner of transactions that have allegedly been conducted, the local investigation agency may not be well equipped to conduct the investigation.

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The Court further directed that even if needful is not done by the petitioner or she does not appear, in view of the allegations in the FIR, the Director General of Police, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh shall look into the matter and pass appropriate orders in the national interest.

The State of Uttar Pradesh Through Principal Secretary (Home) Govt of Uttar Pradesh is also directed to look into all such aspects in the light of the allegations levelled in the first information report as well as in the petition.

“On the next date, Additional Government Advocate apart from the report/ decision of the Director General of Police, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, he shall also place on record the instructions from the State of Uttar Pradesh Through Principal Secretary (Home) Govt of Uttar Pradesh. In view of the allegations levelled in the FIR and the magnitude of the fraud in terms of money, this would certainly be a case where national interest would be involved.

Therefore, at this stage, without directing for impleadment of Union of India or the concerned Ministries which may include Home as well as Finance, we direct the counsel for the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition toAdditional Solicitor General of India for sending the same to the concerned authority/ Ministry through appropriate Secretary/ Authority for taking note of the same and file instructions of such authority on the next date fixed.

The concerned Ministry/ Authority shall be at liberty to seek impleadment in the petition or they may direct their impleadment if thought appropriate,” the order reads.

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The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on January 17.

The petition has been filed with following prayers:-

“(i) Issue a writ, order or direction, in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents and specifically the respondent No.- 3 & 4 to conduct the fair investigation in the present First Information Report No.-0115/2021 dated:-26.09.2021 U/s-120-b/ 420/ 467/ 468/ 471/ 474/ 476/ 506/ 507/ 511 of Indian Penal Code, PS-Zafrabad, Distt.-Jaunpur.

(ii) Issue a writ, order or direction, in the nature of mandamus directing the local police to stop the stalking and harassing the petitioner and pressurizing her to withdraw her complaint and forcing her to enter into a settlement with the accused scamsters.

(iii) Issue a writ, order or direction, in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of the petitioner to live a lawful life with dignity and liberty as guaranteed under Article-21 of the Constitution of India.

(iv) Issue any such other and further writ, order or direction which this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper under the facts and circumstances of the case. 

(v) Award costs to the petitioner from the respondents.”

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