CBI registers two cases on graft charges made by ex-J&K Governor Malik

Malpractices alleged in award of two contracts related to civil works and a group health insurance scheme

April 21, 2022 05:21 pm | Updated 08:31 pm IST - New Delhi

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) logo at CBI HQ, in New Delhi. File

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) logo at CBI HQ, in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered two cases — on a reference from the Jammu and Kashmir government following corruption charges made by its former Governor Satya Pal Malik — to probe alleged malpractices in the award of two contracts related to civil works worth about ₹2,200 crore and a group health insurance scheme.

In the first case pertaining to the Kiru Hydroelectric power project, the agency has named Indian Administrative Service officer Navin Kumar Choudhary, as the then chairman of Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Limited (CVPPPL), its then managing director M.S. Babu, then directors M.K. Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra, besides Patel Engineering Limited, as accused.

Trinity Reinsurance Brokers Limited, Reliance General Insurance Company Limited and others have been arraigned in the second case.

Searches at 14 locations

“On Thursday, the agency conducted searches at 14 locations in Jammu, Srinagar, Delhi, Mumbai, Noida, Thiruvananthapuram [Kerala] and Darbhanga [Bihar], on the premises of private companies, then CVPPL chairman and others,” said a CBI official.

According to the CBI, the first case involves the 2019 award of civil works contract to Patel Engineering, in which e-tendering guidelines were allegedly not followed despite the CVPPPL Board’s decision. The second First Information Report alleges irregularities in the award of contract for the Jammu and Kashmir Employees Health Care Insurance Scheme and release of about ₹60 crore in 2017-18. The charge primarily relates to the process adopted and rates fixed under the scheme.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration found that the process for selecting an insurer was initiated in February 2017 and a consultant appointed through competitive bidding. With the consultant’s assistance, a notice-inviting tender was issued in June 2018 and the new insurer selected in 2018 via competitive bidding. Under the new scheme, an insurance of ₹6 lakh per annum per employee/pensioner on a premium of ₹8,777 (employees) and ₹22,291 (pensioners) had been fixed.

However, following protests, the contract was cancelled by Mr. Malik in October 2018. He was the Jammu and Kashmir Governor from August 2018 to October 2019. In October last year, while addressing a gathering in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu, he had alleged that he was offered ₹300 crore bribe for clearing two files. However, he said, he cancelled both the deals.

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