Home Dehradun Suspended IAS officer Ram Vilas Yadav arrested

Suspended IAS officer Ram Vilas Yadav arrested

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 23 Jun: IAS officer Ram Vilas Yadav who had, at the direction of Uttarakhand High Court, yesterday, finally appeared before the State Vigilance Department to face questioning regarding disproportionate assets and was suspended last evening, was also arrested late at night by the State Vigilance Department. This was confirmed by State Vigilance Director Amit Sinha during an interaction with the media, today.  Yadav was arrested after a day-long interrogation. According to sources, Yadav presented his arguments but allegedly failed to satisfy the interrogators on his sources of income that helped him to buy multiple properties.

It may be recalled that Yadav had been issued summons at least twice asking him to appear before the Vigilance Department, but he failed to do so. Two days ago, he had approached the Uttarakhand High Court seeking a stay against the questioning. He had claimed before the High Court that he is cooperating in the investigation but the High Court did not grant him relief thus forcing him to appear before the Vigilance Department.

In the hearing in the case filed by Yadav with the High Court continued today, also, at which the Court was informed about his arrest under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. The Court asked the Government to explain why he was arrested if he was cooperating in the inquiry

At the time of his suspension, Yadav was posted as Additional Secretary and is due to retire on 30 June. As his date of retirement neared, the vigilance department raced against time to question and arrest him. Sinha claimed that Yadav had failed to provide satisfactory answers regarding the assets owned by him which were disproportionate to his known sources of income by at least 5 times.

His statement was recorded by the Vigilance Department, yesterday, in the presence of Superintendent of Police, Sector Dehradun, Renu Lohani, and the Inquiry Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Anusha Badola. According to the sources, none of the questions pertaining to properties allegedly acquired by him in his name or benami evoked any satisfactory response. Yadav allegedly owns properties in Dilkash Vihar, Ranikothi residence located in Lucknow, Janata Vidyalaya in Gudamba, a huge plot in Noida, 10 bighas of land purchased in Ghazipur district, Fixed Deposit Accounts in various banks in the name of his family members and could not satisfy the inquiry team as to how he came to acquire so many assets. Besides this, he allegedly also owns at least 7 to 8 properties in Dehradun and Lucknow.

In the investigation, so far, on the basis of available records and interrogation of the accused, the total income during the period under inquiry was found to be Rs 50.48 lakhs while the cost of the properties acquired is more than Rs 3.12 crores by a very conservative estimate indicating hugely disproportionate income. Sources claimed that, as per the inquiry, the accused officer had committed offences under Section 13(1)b read Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and was therefore arrested at 2:15 a.m. today. Immediately after his arrest, his family was informed of the development and he was today presented before a competent court to obtain custody. It may also be recalled that several of his properties were raided, too, by the Vigilance Department in Dehradun, Noida and Lucknow.

Sources claim that this is the first such arrest of a senior IAS officer in Uttarakhand in a case of corruption, though there have been several instances of suspension. All those suspended so far have been reinstated. Some serving in Uttarakhand on deputation were not even suspended but just reverted to the parent cadre. Yadav is considered to be close to the Samajwadi Party leadership and was an officer of UP cadre. He had managed with the help of some political mentors to get his cadre transferred to Uttarakhand two years ago.

Why was Yadav arrested, asks HC

By Our Staff Reporter

Nainital, 23 Jun: The Uttarakhand High Court today asked the government to file an affidavit by 19 July regarding the arrest of IAS officer Ram Vilas Yadav, who was Additional Secretary in the Social Welfare Department. Yadav is accused of having disproportionate assets.

The hearing continued today in the case filed by Yadav seeking relief against government action against him. A single bench of Senior Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari asked the government during the hearing, why he was arrested when he was supposedly cooperating in the investigation. In its response the government claimed that the Vigilance Department had summoned him several times for questioning but he did not appear and only appeared yesterday at the direction of the court. During the questioning yesterday, Yadav did not give satisfactory answers to any question. He had earned at least 522 percent more wealth than his known sources of income. His wife was also called for investigation, but she also did not appear. Yadav appeared before the Vigilance on the orders of the court. Finally, the Vigilance team interrogated him and arrested him. During the hearing today, the court was told on behalf of the petitioner that he had been accused of acquiring assets disproportionate to his income and claimed that his daughter who lived abroad had been sending him money, while his son, an advocate in the Supreme Court also helped him purchase properties. His wife manages a college and, together, they earned money through hard work. Yadav further claimed that the person who filed the complaint against him had several criminal cases pending against him. Yadav also claimed that he was not even given a chance to present his case in this matter. The committees constituted by the government were dissolved even before he could submit his arguments.

On the other hand, the government claimed before the Court that Yadav did not comply with the summons but was instead meeting politicians including the CM and other ministers as well as other senior bureaucrats in an attempt to influence the case.  The government counsel also said that Yadav owns several properties in UP and in Uttarakhand.