UPPCL PF scam: Supreme Court defers hearing on accused bail plea

ILNS: The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the hearing of a bail plea by a man who has been accused of embezzling monies of 42,000 employees of three Electricity Corporations of Uttar Pradesh. The man had challenged the Allahabad High Court’s decision to reject his bail plea earlier. The bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Krishna Murari will hear the matter on May 7.

An FIR under Section 409, 420, 467, 471, 120B IPC and 7A and 8 of the Prevention and Corruption Act 1988 had been filed against petitioner Abhinav Gupta, on the complaint of secretary, Trust of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL). The FIR was also against the father of the accused applicant, who is a former Secretary (Trust). there was another in the case, who served the UPPCL in the capacity of Director (Finance) from June 2016 to June 2019.

The name of the accused-applicant, who is the son of one of the accused, had been added during the course of investigation, because he was found involved in the alleged scam.

In 2016, the accused persons started investing the funds of the employees of the company in PNB housing term deposits. Aloing with that, approximately Rs 2,631 crores were invested in a private institution named Dewan Housing Finance Ltd illegally, with the approval of the managing director, who is one of the accused. The accused also forged and fabricated minutes of meetings of the board of trustees.

The investigation has revealed that accused public servants abused their official positions as public servants and hatched a criminal conspiracy to invest funds of General Provident Fund and Central Provident Fund Trust to the tune of Rs 1,519.6 crore in PNB Housing Finance Company Ltd, Rs 514 Cr in LIC Housing Finance and Rs 4,122.7 Cr in DHFL. Thus, total funds (Rs 6,156.3 Cr) of thousands of employees of UP Power Corporation Ltd. were invested in the some private housing finance companies against the rules and guidelines and out of the aforesaid funds. Funds to the tune of Rs 2,267.9 Cr have been misappropriated by the accused.

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After hearing all the facts and circumstances, the high court held: “The present case involves a mega scam of huge magnitude involving money of 42,000 employees of three Electricity Corporations, who had invested their hard-earned money with the hope that they would get a good return on it at the time they would need money. Trust has been breached in a criminal conspiracy by the accused which has resulted in huge loss to the two Trusts resultantly to the employees. The accused is an influential person. The money trail is yet to be completely discovered and, therefore, at this stage, the accused-applicant cannot be released on bail.”
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