The Uttar Pradesh police will provide necessary security to the witnesses in the multi-crore Provident Fund (PF) scam, allegedly involving several judicial officers. The death of the prime accused, Ashutosh Asthana, in Dasna jail in Ghaziabad in mysterious circumstances had brought the focus back on the estimated Rs. 23 crore scandal in which money from the PF accounts of several class three and four employees of the district court was allegedly siphoned off.

Additional Director General ( Law and Order ), Western Zone, Arvind Kumar Jain told reporters here on Tuesday that the Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Akhil Kumar has been directed to procure the list of the witnesses from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Mr. Jain said that the orders of the Supreme Court on granting protection to the witnesses would be obeyed in letter and spirit.

The apex court on Tuesday further ordered that the viscera of the deceased be handed over to the CBI. Mr. Jain said the viscera had been sent by the Ghaziabad police to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Agra for chemical examination. The viscera would be recalled from Agra and handed over to the Central investigating agency, Mr. Jain said.

He said the post mortem of Mr. Asthana was conducted in the Ghaziabad district hospital by a panel of five doctors. Since the cause of the death could not be ascertained and his body bore no injury marks, the viscera were preserved for chemical examination.

A central ‘nazir’ in the Ghaziabad district court, Mr. Asthana had collapsed in his cell in Dasna jail on Deepawali before being declared brought dead in the MMG Government Hospital. He had reportedly fainted. His post mortem was conducted on Sunday before his body was cremated on the same day.