IAS officer B Chandrakala on Thursday submitted documents to the Enforcement Directorate, but skipped her personal appearance in connection with an alleged illegal mining money laundering case in Uttar Pradesh, official sources said and further added that Chandrakala sent her legal representative to the Lucknow zonal office of the central probe agency with documents and assured the investigating officer that she would appear in due course.
The 2008 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer said that she was not able to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) due to some personal reason. However, the ED had issued summons to her last week after it filed a criminal FIR in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR filed to probe illegal mining instances in the Hamirpur area between 2012 and 2016.
The CBI has said that it was probing the role of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in the case as he had held the mining portfolio during this period.
The ED had summoned Chandrakala and SP MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra apart from few others for questioning in the case. Mishra has been called on January 28. The ED is probing the money trail and whether the alleged illegal funds received as kickbacks in these cases were laundered by the accused. It will also look for assets, both immovable and movable, of the accused that could be attached under the anti-money laundering law.
The CBI had carried out searches at 14 locations earlier this month in connection with its FIR against 11 people, including Chandrakala, Mishra and Sanjay Dixit (who had unsuccessfully contested the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on a BSP ticket) to probe the alleged illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district during 2012-16. The role of the then mining ministers of the state might be looked into during the course of the investigation, the CBI FIR had said.
Akhilesh Yadav, who was the chief minister of the state between 2012 and 2017, held the mining portfolio during 2012-13, apparently bringing his role under the scanner, according to the FIR. He was succeeded by Gayatri Prajapati, who took charge as the mining minister in 2013 and was arrested in 2017 following a complaint of rape by a woman residing in Chitrakoot.