CBI books then Jammu RO of NHAI in 2018 tender case, raids premises recovers Rs. 67 lakh

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NEW DELHI: The anti-graft central probe agency the Central Bureau of Investigation said on Friday it has booked then Regional Officer Hem Raj of NHAI’s Jammu region and others for allegedly conspiring in awarding a work order worth Rs.9.34 crore to a private firm on January 10, 2018, for improvement and routine maintenance of Lakhanpur-Jammu Section in violations of terms and conditions of the tender.

Noting that the FIR has been registered on the basis of a Preliminary Enquiry (PE), CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said, “It was alleged that the said the private firm-M/s Rakesh Kumar – owned by Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary entered into conspiracy with officials of Regional Office, NHAI, Jammu and got the work order in a tender dated January 10, 2018, for improvement & routine maintenance of Lakhanpur-Jammu Section of the road for Rs.9.34 crore (approx.), in violations of terms & conditions of the said tender.”

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The CBI spokesperson said, after registering the case, searches were conducted at seven places in Jammu, Chandigarh, and Ropar, which led to recovery of incriminating documents, hard disks and other digital evidence.

“A cash of more than Rs. 65 lakh from the premises of the contractor and cash of Rs. 2 lakh (approx) from the premises of Hem Raj were also recovered,” he said.

In the PE, Joshi said, it was further alleged that then Regional officer Hem Raj entered into conspiracy with the firm and its proprietor and favoured them in the award of the tender.

“It was also alleged that the experience certificates submitted by the firm along with the bid, did not mention whether the road constructed from Atholi to Palali section in Kishtwar district was a 02/04/06 lane highway,” the CBI official said, adding: “Whereas in the experience certificates of other four qualified bidders, they had specifically mentioned that the roads constructed by them were 02/04/06 lane highway”.

It was further alleged that the fact was overlooked while processing the bid of the accused firm and consequently it was processed favourably, he said, while noting that the experience certificates submitted by the firm through its proprietor were “allegedly found to be fake and forged”.