CBI registers 2 cases against senior IAS officer, others
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CBI registers 2 cases against senior IAS officer, others

Raids at 14 locations including Jammu, Srinagar, Delhi, Mumbai

Jammu: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered two separate cases against private companies and others, including a senior IAS officer, in alleged malpractices in awarding contracts for group medical insurance scheme for government employees and works related to Kiru Hydro Electric Power project in J&K.

In this connection after registering FIRs in both the cases, the premier investigative agency on Thursday conducted searches at around 14 locations, including at Jammu, Srinagar, Delhi, Mumbai and other places at the premises of the accused including a senior IAS officer and private companies.

In Kiru HEP case, officials said that the agency “registered a case on the request of Jammu & Kashmir government against the then chairman (an IAS officer); the then MD; two the then Directors; a private company and unknown others on the allegations of malpractices in award of the contract worth Rs 2200 crore (approximately) of civil works of Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP) to a private company in the year 2019.”

It was further alleged that in award of civil works package of Kiru Hydroelectric Project, guidelines regarding e-tendering were not followed and though a decision was taken in the Board Meeting of CVPPPL (Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Limited) for re-tender through e-tendering with reverse auction, after cancellation of ongoing tendering process, same was not implemented (as per decision taken in the next Board meeting) and tender was finally awarded to M/s Patel Engineering Ltd, officials maintained.

In its FIR/RC -0042022A0005 dated April 20, 2022 at ACB, CBI, Jammu, CBI mentioned that on March 23, 2022, it was conveyed the decision of government of J&K, for investigation by it into allegations of malpractices in award of contract, in respect of civil works of Kiru Hydroelectric Power Project, on the basis of reports of Anti Corruption Bureau, UT of J&K and Power Development Department, Government of J&K.

“In this case, the CBI booked Navin Kumar Choudhary IAS, who was the then chairman, CVPPPL; M S Babu the then MD CVPPPL; M K Mittal the then Director CVPPPL; Arun Kumar Mishra the then Director CVPPPL; M/s Patel Engineering Ltd and unknown others,” officials added.

Case has been registered against them u/s 120-B RPC r/w 5(1 )(d) r/w 5(2) of the J&K PC Act, Samvat, 2006.

Other case was also registered on the request of Jammu & Kashmir government on the allegations of malpractices in award of contract of J&K Employees Health Care Insurance Scheme to private company and release of Rs 60 Cr (approximately) in the year 2017-18.

“Searches are being conducted today in both the cases at 14 locations including at Jammu, Srinagar, Delhi, Mumbai, Noida, Trivandrum (Kerala), Darbhanga (Bihar) at the premises of the accused including private companies, the then Chairman, the then MD, the then Directors of CVPPPL etc. Investigation in both the cases is continuing,” officials added.

“In the second case related to J&K Employees Health Care Insurance Scheme, the CBI booked M/s Trinity Reinsurance Brokers Limited; M/s Reliance General Insurance Company Limited and unknown public servant(s) and private person(s),” officials said.

In the second FIR/ RC-1232022A0004 dated April 19, 2022 at ACB, CBI, Srinagar, CBI mentioned that it received a letter from government of J&K on March 23, 2022 conveying to refer the matter of malpractices in awarding contract of J&K Government Employees Health Care Insurance Scheme to Reliance General Insurance Corporation Limited to it (CBI) for investigation.

“The allegations mentioned in the written communication prima facie disclose that unknown officials of Finance Department of Government of J&K 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 to cause pecuniary advantage to themselves and caused wrongful loss to state exchequer during the period 2017 and 2018 and thereby in this manner cheated the Government of J&K,” FIR registered by CBI mentioned.

It was alleged in different quarters that there were glaring deviations from the government norms in the contract awarded to Reliance General Insurance like absence of an online tender, removal of an original condition that the vendor should have experience of working in the state and companies having turnover of Rs 5,000 crore among others.

“The facts prima facie disclose commission of cognizable offences made punishable U/Section 120-B r/w Sec. 420 of RPC and Sec. 5(2) r/w Sec. 5(l)(d) of J&K PC Act, Samvat 2006 and substantive offences thereof,” it added.

After allegations of irregularities surfaced, the scheme, which was rolled out on September 30, 2018, was scrapped, officials said.

“The Governor has approved foreclosure of the contract with M/s Reliance General Insurance Company (RGIC) for implementing group mediclaim health insurance policy for the employees and pensioners in the state," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson had said on October 27, 2018.

He had said the matter was referred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for examining the entire process to see whether it was conducted in a transparent and fair manner.

In the scheme which was initially signed up with RGIC for one year, the employees and pensioners would have got Rs 6 lakh cover for themselves and five dependent family members by paying an annual premium of Rs 8,777 and Rs 22,229 for employees and pensioners, respectively.

Notably the J&K government had decided to refer both the cases to CBI after the former Governor Satya Pal Malik, had claimed that he was offered a Rs 300 Cr bribe for clearing two files.

Malik, who was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019 had claimed, “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).”

“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 in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan in October last year.

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