Nine officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and five companies are among 22 accused booked by the CBI for alleged corruption in execution and operation of three highway projects. The probe agency has alleged that the NHAI personnel, including three general manager-level officials, took monthly bribes to the tune of Rs 1-2 lakh from the accused companies.
The alleged offence occurred between 2008 and 2010 when the UPA government was in power at the Centre. According to CBI, the companies also fudged accounts and falsified payment receipts against work that was never done.
The case pertains to three NHAI projects—Surat-Hazira Port section of NH 06, Varanasi-Aurangabad section of NH-02 and Kishangarh-Ajmer-Beawar section of NH-08.
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The three general managers identified as accused in the FIR lodged by the CBI are LP Padhy, CK Sinha and Vibhav Mittal. Other officials include project directors and managers.
The companies accused in the case include Isolux Corsan India Engineering and Construction Pvt. Ltd (ICIECPL); Goyal Construction Co, Jaipur; Soma-Isolux Surat-Hazira Tollway Pvt Ltd; Soma-Isolux Varanasi-Aurangabad Tollway Pvt Ltd; and Mahadeo Construction Co.
According to CBI, ICIECPL is already under liquidation. The Registrar of Companies has stated that the company was incorporated in June, 2008.
Barring Mahadev Construction and Goyal Constructions, the other two companies are special purpose vehicles of Isolux and Soma Enterprises to operate the highway.
The CBI had initiated a preliminary enquiry in the matter in November, 2018 based on “source information”. Following its completion, a regular case has been filed.
The CBI has alleged that in the Surat-Hazira Port Section of NH-06, NHAI officials CK Sinha and Vibhav Mittal entered into a criminal conspiracy with office bearers of Isolux and one Kamal Constructions.
“CK Sinha and Vibhav Mttal …habitually accepted monthly cash amount of Rs. 1,00,000 each from Isolux, facilitated by M/s Kamal Construction, Surat, during execution of the said project for its smooth functioning,” the CBI FIR said.
It alleged that Kamal Constructions facilitated cash (delivered by Isolux and accepted by Sinha and Mittal) generation “by providing false invoices of M/s Kamal Construction to Isolux against which no work was done, got the amount credited to its bank account and provided cash (after deducting 4% commission)” to an officer-bearer of ICIECPL.
According to CBI, a similar modus operandi was adopted for the Varanasi-Aurangabad section of NH-02 and Kishangarh-Ajmer-Beawar section of NH-08 where NHAI officials allegedly accepted monthly bribes of Rs 1-2 lakh from Isolux and Mahadev Constructions and Goyal Constructions were used to move the money by fraudulent means.
Source: india Express