New Delhi: The CBI is investigating the role of a senior journalist in the UP mining scam, agency sources have told MyNation. He was allegedly acting as a middleman in leasing out the state-owned mines to private parties in breach of e-auction norms.

Then UP chief minister and state mining minister Akhilesh Yadav is also under investigation in the fraud which may go up to thousands of crores. The CBI has already named IAS officer and then district magistrate of Hamirpur B Chandrakala as main accused in the scam.

Lutyens’ journalists and scams

This is not the first time Lutyens journalists’ names have emerged in major scams. In the Rs 1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam, embarrassing audiotapes had emerged of prominent anchors and editors acting as brokers.

In the coal scam worth Rs 1.86 lakh crore, several journalists were found to be on the take from accused companies. In another UPA-era scam involving AgustaWestland defence helicopters, again names of several journalists popped up.

Newspaper editor or broker?

In the unfolding mining scam, this Delhi-based senior journalist was in touch with political powers involved in the scam as well as the leaseholders, the sources said. He is supposed to own several residential properties in the National Capital Region, and has worked in several well-known dailies.

The CBI sources said the exact role of the journalist and probable criminality is being investigated.

According to an FIR filed by the CBI, “Government servants, in criminal conspiracy with each other, illegally granted fresh leash, renewed existing lease and obstructed period to the existing leaseholders, without following the e-tendering procedures as mentioned in the government of UP order.”