CBI conducts searches at 16 locations in Kiru hydroelectric project case

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CBI conducts searches at 16 locations in Kiru hydroelectric project case

The CBI is conducting searches at 16 locations across India over the allegations of graft flagged by former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and awarding a contract for Rs 2,200 crore civil work for the Kiru Hydro Power Project in Kishtwar in 2019.

On Wednesday, officials said search operations were 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.

The CBI has detected some financial transactions between the accused public servants, including then Chaiman of the Chenab Valley Power Projects P Ltd Navin Kumar Chaudhary and middlemen, leading to a new round of searches, officials said.

During the investigation, evidence was found showing the role of middlemen, including the then chairman, and financial transactions between these middlemen and public servants, and therefore searches are being conducted at 16 locations, according to CBI spokesperson RC Joshi.

The agency is searching 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 said.

Malik, who was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019, claimed he was offered a 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 prime minister Narendra Modi Malik.

I was informed by the secretaries in both departments that there was a scandal and I cancelled both of the deals. The secretaries told me that they will get Rs 150 crore 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.

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

The CBI had conducted a round of searches after the registration of the FIR.

The case was registered on allegations of malpractices in the award of the contract worth Rs 2,200 crore to a private company in the year 2019 by Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project HEP.

The agency has re-booked Navin Kumar Chaudhary, M S Babu, former MD, M K Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra, former directors and Patel Engineering Ltd.

A decision was taken in the 47th Board meeting of CVPPPL Chenab Valley Power Projects P Ltd for re-tender through e-tendering with reverse auction after cancellation of the ongoing tendering process, but the same was not implemented as per the decision taken by the 48th board meeting and tender was finally awarded to Patel Engineering Ltd, according to the FIR.