The CBI which registered two cases on the basis of complaints by former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on corruption in Union Territory’s insurance scheme and hydro electric power project, appears to be enlarging the scope of its investigation, evident in Wednesday’s searches carried out at a dozen locations in national capital region and Rajasthan.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s ex-Media advisor Saunak Bali and his chartered accountant Sanjay Narang were among six persons whose premises were searched by the CBI on allegations of corruption in the civil works contract worth ₹2,000 crore related to Kiru hydrelectic power project of Jammu and Kashmir. Others whose premises searched were Virender Singh Rana and Kanwar Singh Rana -- both are said to be CA of Bali -- and two women, Dr Priyanka Choudhary and Anita. Malik as JK Governor had claimed that he was offered ₹300 crore to clear the hydroelectric power project as well as the government employees medical insurance scheme.
But, the agency’s searches against persons associated with Malik and Bali hint that the investigation might be turning in different direction. Sources said the agency’s latest move was prompted due to information gathered after analysis of financial documents, digital evidence, statements of accused and other inputs collected during the probe so far.
Malik has been ranting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In an interview, he alleged that Modi has no problem with corruption, doesn’t understand Kashmir and asked him not to rake up lapses in Pulwama attack in 2019.
The former BJP leader was questioned for the second time on April 28 in two FIRs registered on his complaint that he was offered bribe between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019 to clear UT employees medical insurance scheme and hydroelectric power project.
According to the CBI FIR, guidelines related to e-tendering of contract for the civil works package of Kiru hydroelectric power project were flouted for the benefit of a private company in 2019. The CBI had booked Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd’s (CVPPPL’s) former chairman Navin Kumar Chaudhary, ex-MD M S Babu, and ex-directors M K Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra, besides Patel Engineering Ltd.
“Though a decision was taken in the 47th Board meeting of CVPPPL (Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd) for re-tender through e-tendering with the reverse auction after the cancellation of the ongoing tendering process, the same was not implemented (as per the decision taken in the 48th board meeting) and tender was finally awarded to Patel Engineering Ltd,” the FIR alleged.
Insurance scheme for govt staff
In the other FIR, the CBI booked Reliance General Insurance and Trinity Re-Insurance Brokers Limited which was to offer health insurance scheme for J&K government employees. The scheme was later scrapped by Malik.