CBI conducts searches in connection with power project graft case flagged by ex-Governor
New Delhi: The CBI is conducting searches at 16 locations across India over the alleged graft case flagged by former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik in awarding contract for Rs 2,200 crore civil work for the Kiru Hydro Power Project in Kishtwar in 2019.
Officials on Wednesday said the search operations are spread across two places in Srinagar, five in Jammu, five in Delhi, three in Mumbai and one in Patna at the premises of middlemen and associates involved in the project.
In its three-month probe, the CBI has detected some financial transactions between the accused public servants, including the then Chairman of the Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd Navin Kumar Chaudhary and middlemen, leading to fresh round of searches, officials said.
“During investigation, evidences were found revealing the alleged role of middlemen, including the then chairman, and financial transactions between these middlemen and public servants, and accordingly, searches are being conducted at 16 locations,” CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said.
The agency is conducting searches at the premises of Rupen Patel, Chairman and Managing Director of Patel Engineering Ltd in Mumbai, Vijay Gupta and Amrendra Kumar Singh among others, officials added.
Malik, who was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019 had claimed he was offered a Rs 300-crore bribe for clearing two files.
“After going to Kashmir, two files came to me (for clearance), one belonging to Ambani and another to an RSS-affiliated man who was a minister in the previous Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition government and claimed to be very close to the prime minister (Narendra Modi),” Malik had said.
“I was informed by secretaries in both the departments that there is a scandal and I accordingly cancelled both the deals. The secretaries told me that ‘you will get Rs 150 crore each for clearing the files’ but I told them that I have come with five kurta-pyjamas and will leave with that only,” Malik had told a gathering at an event at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan in October last year.
In its FIR pertaining to the alleged malpractices in awarding contract for civil works package of Kiru hydroelectric power project registered in April this year, the CBI had said guidelines related to e-tendering were not followed.
The CBI had also conducted a round of searches after the registration of the FIR.
“The case was registered on allegations of malpractices in award of the contract worth Rs 2,200 crore (approximately) of civil works of Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project(HEP) to a private company in the year 2019,” Joshi had earlier said.
The agency has booked Navin Kumar Chaudhary, M S Babu, former MD, M K Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra, former directors and Patel Engineering Ltd.
“Though a decision was taken in 47th Board meeting of CVPPPL (Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd) for re-tender through e-tendering with reverse auction after cancellation of ongoing tendering process, same was not implemented (as per decision taken in 48th board meeting) and tender was finally awarded to Patel Engineering Ltd,” the FIR has alleged.