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CBI searches 16 locations in Kiru power project case

Central Bureau of Investigation logo at CBI headquarters in New Delhi. File

Central Bureau of Investigation logo at CBI headquarters in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday conducted searches at 16 locations across five cities in connection with a case alleging irregularities in the award of ₹2,200 crore civil works related to the Kiru hydro-electric power project in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The searches were carried out in Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Jammu and Srinagar, on the premises of associates of the main accused persons, middlemen and others,” said an official, adding that two of the alleged middlemen were Vijay Gupta (Jammu) and Amarendra Kumar Singh (Delhi). The premises of one chartered accountant, Rakesh Gupta, Rupen Patel of Patel Engineering Limited (Mumbai) and its three employees were also searched, according to an agency source.

Among those named in the First Information Report (FIR) are Navin Kumar Choudhary, an Indian Administrative Service official, as the then chairman of Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Limited (CVPPPL); its then managing director M.S. Babu, directors M.K. Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra and Patel Engineering.

The agency registered the FIR on April 20 on a reference from the J&K government to probe the allegation that e-tendering guidelines were not followed despite the CVPPPL board's decision, and the contract was awarded to Patel Engineering in 2019. A day later, searches were conducted on the accused persons.

In October last year, while addressing a gathering in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu, former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik alleged that he was offered a ₹300 crore bribe for clearing two files. However, he said, he cancelled both the deals. Following his remarks, the J&K administration ordered an inquiry and based on the findings, asked for a CBI probe.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2022 12:10:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cbi-conducts-searches-in-connection-with-power-project-graft-case-flagged-by-satya-pal-malik/article65606662.ece