Three high ranking officials of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) were remanded by a court to police custody on Wednesday in connection with the investment of the employees’ provident fund in a Mumbai-based housing finance firm in 2017.
Former managing director of UPPCL AP Mishra, Employees Trust secretary Praveen Kumar Gupta and director of finance Sudhanshu Dwivedi will be interrogated on November 7 for their role in investing funds to the tune of over Rs 4,100 crore in Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) after the court of civil judge (junior division) Kshitij Pandey remanded them to three days custody.
Superintendent of Police (SP) of EOW, Shaakilluzzama said they will be questioned over the process by which the decision to invest the employees’ provident fund in DHFL was made. Notices will also be issued to the company to present details of company records and transactions, he added.
The Uttar Pradesh Power Sector Employees Trust formed in 2006 handled the provident fund contributions.
The DHFL is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate over charges of alleged links to Iqbal Mirchi, aide of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, and the Reserve Bank of India has restricted withdrawals.
While Rs 1,855 crore of the provident fund invested has been recovered so far, over Rs 2,200 crore remains stuck.
On Tuesday, Director General of EOW Rajendra Pal Singh had said that the role of all five members of the board that cleared the investment will be probed. Besides the trio arrested on Wednesday, board members included senior IAS officer and then chairman Sanjay Agarwal and personnel and administration officer Satya Prakash Pandey.
According to Singh, the probe revealed the UPPCL authorities accepted the quotation of DHFL on March 15, 2017 and approved it the following day. “On March 16, 2017, the DHFL quotation was approved, and the first instalment of around Rs 18 crore of the investment was transferred online on March 17,” he said. “Former MD AP Mishra forwarded his resignation to the state government on March 16 itself,” Singh added.
On March 24, the board comprising all five members called a meeting to justify the investment, Singh said, but added that overwriting in documents undersigned by Mishra and other board members was detected by the EOW team. The date of the meeting was allegedly changed to March 22, a day before Mishra’s resignation was accepted.