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Insurance ‘scam’ case: CBI searches at 12 locations in Rajasthan, Delhi

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Searches premises of former J&K Guv Satya Pal Malik’s press secy as well

New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday conducted searches at premises of the then aide of former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, and 11 other locations in Delhi and Rajasthan in the alleged insurance scam case, officials said.

They said CBI teams started a search operation early this morning at the residence of Malik’s then aide Saunak Bali, Chartered Accountant Sanjay Narang, Virender Singh Rana and Kanwar Singh Rana, Priyanka Chowdhary and Anita in Delhi and Rajasthan.

According to an updated information from the agency, the searches are spread across 10 places in Delhi and two districts in Rajasthan.

The agency move comes within a month of questioning Malik on April 28.

The search operation was necessitated after the analysis of financial documents, digital evidence and statements of the accused and other persons in the case, they said.

Malik’s statement was recorded in October last year after he concluded his gubernatorial responsibilities in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, and Meghalaya.

The CBI registered two FIRs in connection with the corruption allegations levelled by Malik in the awarding of contracts for a group medical insurance scheme for government employees, and civil works worth Rs 2,200 crore related to the Kiru hydroelectric power project in Jammu and Kashmir.

Malik had claimed he was offered Rs 300-crore bribe for clearing two files during his tenure as the Jammu and Kashmir governor between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019.

The central agency has booked Reliance General Insurance and Trinity Re-Insurance Brokers Limited as accused in its FIR related to a controversial health insurance scheme for Jammu and Kashmir government employees reportedly cleared by Malik in the State Administrative Council meeting on August 31, 2018 and scrapped later.

“…unknown officials of Finance Department of Government of Jammu and Kashmir by abusing their official position in conspiracy and connivance with Trinity Reinsurance Brokers Ltd, Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd and other unknown public servants and private persons have committed the offences of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct,” the FIR has alleged.

They caused “pecuniary advantage to themselves and wrongful loss to state exchequer during the period 2017 and 2018 and thereby in this manner cheated the Government of Jammu and Kashmir”, it alleged.

In its second FIR pertaining to the alleged malpractices in the award of contract for the civil works package of Kiru hydroelectric power project, the CBI said guidelines related to e-tendering were not followed.

The case was registered on allegations of malpractices in the award of the contract of civil works of Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP) to a private company in 2019.

The agency has booked Navin Kumar Chaudhary, former chairman of Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd; M S Babu, former MD; M K Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra, former directors, and Patel Engineering Ltd.

“Though a decision was taken in the 47th Board meeting of CVPPPL (Chenab Valley Power Projects Ltd) for re-tender through e-tendering with the reverse auction after the cancellation of the ongoing tendering process, the same was not implemented (as per the decision taken in the 48th board meeting) and tender was finally awarded to Patel Engineering Ltd,” the FIR alleged.

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