The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has finally given the permission to go ahead with the prosecution of Louise Khurshid, wife of former Union Minister and Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, and other office-bearers of Dr Zakir Husain Memorial Trust for misappropriation of Central funds, meant for the distribution of equipment including wheelchairs among physically challenged persons.The Principal Secretary Home Arvind Kumar said that the state government has granted the permission for the prosecution after the Law department approved the charge-sheet, filed by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) on March 30 2018.In March 2010, Dr Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, headed by Louis Khurshid, had received a grant of Rs 71.50 lakhs from the Central government for distribution of wheelchairs, tricycles and hearing aids among physically challenged persons in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.Also readPriyanka Gandhi is a game changer; will have a bigger role in 2019: Salman KhurshidAllegations of corruption against the Trust and its office-bearers had surfaced when a private news channel conducted a sting operation. In its report, it had alleged that signatures were forged and rules were flagrantly violated by the Trust to misuse the Centre’s funds meant for the welfare of physically challenged. It was alleged that camps were organized on papers only by the Trust office-bearers and Centre’s funds were misappropriated without distribution of wheel-chairs and tricycles.Also readSalman Khurshid has revealed truth behind Rahul’s ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign: BJP On the Centre’s request, then state government had directed the EOW in 2012 to probe the ‘wheelchair scam’. During the course of inquiry for 5 years, the EOW found allegations true against the Trust office-bearers.In May 2010, the Trust claimed to have organized a camp in Kayamganj Farrukhabad and distributed 32 wheel-chairs to beneficiaries. It had also submitted a certificate, signed by the then CMO, as proof.Also readPolice should explain how Ariz Khan escaped from Batla House: Salman Khurshid on IM terrorist’s arrestDuring the EOW probe, it was found that the certificate was fraudulently obtained forging signatures of then CMO and Tehsildar without even organizing any camp or distributing wheel-chairs to beneficiaries.The EOW investigations revealed that many more fake camps were organized by the Trust office-bearers to pocket the Central funds. The list of beneficiaries was also found to be faked as many names were repeated in list of subsequent camps. There were many who were shown to be given three or more wheel-chairs to siphon off the central funds. The investigating agency had filed an FIR on June 9 2017 at the Kayamganj Police Station in Farrukhabad against the Trust Chairperson Louis Khurshid and other Trust office-bearers under Sections 120-B, 420, 468 and 471.After completing its investigations, the EOW had filed a charge-sheet against all accused on March 30 2018 and had sought permission for their prosecution. One of the accused in the case Pratyush Shukla is dead now.On Tuesday, the state Law department approved the EOW charge-sheet paving way for the prosecution of all accused, including Louis Khurshid in the much-publicized ‘wheelchair scam’.
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