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After Spending Day in Police Custody, Bizman Withdraws Bribery Charge Against Yogi Adityanath's Principal Secy

Businessman Abhishek Gupta had on Thursday accused Principal Secretary SP Goyal of asking for a bribe of Rs 25 lakh from him to sanction a petrol pump project. Gupta later retracted the charges saying he had lost his mental balance.

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Updated:June 8, 2018, 11:51 PM IST
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After Spending Day in Police Custody, Bizman Withdraws Bribery Charge Against Yogi Adityanath's Principal Secy
File photo of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (Getty Images)
Lucknow: Hours after being held for accusing CM Yogi Adityanath’s Principal Secretary of demanding bribe, complainant Abhishek Gupta took a U-turn to retract the charges and issued a video statement, saying he had “lost his mental balance”.

Gupta had on Thursday accused Secretary SP Goyal of asking for a bribe of Rs 25 lakh from him to sanction a petrol pump project.

On Friday afternoon the Lucknow resident was detained on charges of fraud right before he was supposed to address a press conference.

His denial has now prompted many to speculate if 22-year-old Gupta was coerced into changing his stance. He recorded the statement while still in police custody.

In police custody since afternoon, for "interrogation and ascertaining of his charges", the businessman who claimed to have taken a loan of Rs 1 crore to set up a petrol pump at Hardoi, said he "was upset and had lost his mental balance after the senior IAS official trashed his file despite completion of all formalities".

According to IANS, in the video that surfaced on social media, where he is being prompted by an officer in the background, Gupta is seen saying that he had met Goyal for clearance of his file but the officer put some queries, which despite being sent back from the district administration were not entertained by the Principal Secretary.

He later says that in a state of depression -- as he was shelling out an interest of Rs 1.10 lakh per month against the loan taken for setting up of the petrol pump -- he made these frivolous charges against the top bureaucrat.

Adityanath had earlier asked Chief Secretary Rajeev Kumar to find out the factual position in the case involving Goyal, an official spokesman said.

The issue was triggered after Governor Ram Naik, taking cognizance, shot off a letter to the chief minister apprising him of the e-mail complaint the Raj Bhawan had received from the Indiranagar-based businessman, seeking help in getting the matter expedited.

In his letter, Naik said the business had claimed that since he was not yielding to the bribe, the IAS officer was sitting on his file. The Governor asked Adityanath to look into the matter.

On Friday, the complainant was picked up by the Lucknow police around afternoon for interrogation.

Lucknow SSP Deepak Kumar said the move followed a complaint filed against Gupta by state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in-charge Bharat Dixit alleging that the said businessman was exerting pressure on senior party office-bearers and the Chief Minister's Office to seek favours.

"Following the complaint, the Hazratganj police filed a case under sections 419, 420 and 500 of the IPC against Gupta and he has been picked by the police for interrogation under 161 CrPC," the SSP said.

However, later in the evening, Kumar said the businessman had been let off after a written apology. "He has been handed over to his maternal grandfather who lives in Lucknow and the probe is underway."

Meanwhile, opposition parties tore into the BJP government for allegedly trying to victimise and intimidate the complainant who had come up with bribery charges against the CM's principal secretary.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said it was sad that under the watch of the government, people coming up with complaints were being targeted rather than investigating the matter.

Yadav also demanded a CBI probe into the allegations leveled against the top bureaucrat.

The Congress also lashed out at the BJP government. Party spokesperson Krishna Kant Pandey demanded that Goyal be removed and a sitting judge of the high court investigate the allegations levelled against the official.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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