Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Power Minister Shrikant Sharma on Thursday sent a defamation notice to UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu giving him an ultimatum to apologise within 24 hours for making "indecent allegations" against him regarding the Rs 2,600 crore EPF scam in the state power department.
"The notice has been sent to the Congress leader by the energy minister for making wrong, derogatory and indecent allegations against him in connection with the case," PRO in the energy department Ankush Tripathi said.
In case Lallu does not offer an apology, a case will be registered against him under the IPC, the minister warned.
"The minister has stated that he has no role in the investments in the DHFL or Sunblink Company and he has never had any meeting with the officials of any of these companies," Tripathi said, adding that he has reiterated that he had not gone to Dubai, as claimed by Lallu.
The notice said, "the statement made by you (Lallu) is totally wrong, malicious and misleading. You have given this statement without verifying the facts as part of a conspiracy" to harm Sharma's image and prestige and to defame him.
A trust of the department manages the provident fund of the employees and Sharma neither occupies any position in it nor has a role in it, the PRO said.
The minister also reiterated that the decision to invest in the DHFL was taken during the previous government headed by Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.
"Lallu should exercise restraint while speaking on the issue. His behaviour was not just against the decency of public life but also damaging for a person who is fulfilling his duties in public life cleanly," the PRO said.
Lallu has sought a probe into Sharma's alleged Dubai visit in September-October 2017, saying it smacked of national security issues.
"It should be probed as to why Shrikant Sharma visited Dubai in September-October 2017. Whom did he meet there?" Lallu had said in a tweet.
He had also sought to know as to who all met the minister in Dubai.
Lallu has also said that the matter of investment of power employees' EPF money in Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited not only amounts to corruption but is also related to national security.
Sharma is in the eye of a raging storm over parking of EPF money of UPPCL employees to the tune of over Rs 2,600 crore in scam-hit DHFL, whose promoters were recently grilled by the Enforcement Directorate for their links with a front company of Iqbal Mirchi, a former aide of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.