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Nine years on, graft case at CBI door

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It took over nine years for complaints of massive corruption by the then Director and other officials of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Agartala to be processed through various government agencies for the Central Bureau of Investigation to finally register an FIR.

The case has been lodged to probe the allegations of irregularities and embezzlement of funds in renovation and other civil works, besides appointments, committed by the then NIT (Agartala) Director P.K. Bose and others during 2008-14.

The first complaint was made to the Prime Minister's Office in April 2010, which followed another one in September the same year. In December 2010, the Central Vigilance Commission wrote to the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry for an inquiry.

The CVC again wrote to the Ministry in June 2011, following the receipt of another complaint in March the same year. It forwarded a copy of yet another complaint in December 2012 and then in September 2013, the CVC wrote to the Ministry, seeking a report within four weeks.

Apart from levelling charges of favouritism and nepotism in appointments, one complaint had alleged that civil work projects amounting to about ₹600 crore were being managed by “incompetent” people. It also listed the companies which were allegedly being extended favours, as mentioned in the FIR.

While multiple complaints were being examined and processed, the Tripura Police registered a case in December 2015 to probe two of the specific charges, based on a complaint lodged by the then NIT-Agartala Registrar.

In September 2016, the CBI received a request from the HRD Ministry to probe the eight complaints forwarded by the CVC, mentioning that two of the charges had been proven. In December 2017, the State government issued a notification, recommending a CBI probe.

It was in June 2019 that the Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training referred the matter to the CBI. The next month, the agency wrote to the HRD Ministry on the issue as per procedure. Subsequently, in September, the President of India, — as Visitor of the NIT-Agartala — granted approval for a CBI probe against the then Director and others.

The HRD Ministry then informed the CBI about the President’s approval in October 2019, after which the agency registered the case on December 6.

Last month, the CBI also took over the investigation into the 2015 FIR registered by the Tripura Police.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:32:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nine-years-on-graft-case-at-cbi-door/article30259627.ece

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