CBI books brother of former Arunachal CM in corruption case

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NEW DELHI, June 28 (PTI):The CBI has booked Nabam Hari, brother of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki, his wife and some PWD officers for alleged corruption in government contracts, officials said Friday. The case pertains to contracts handed by Tuki as the PWD minister in the state to his relatives for “selfish gains without inviting tenders”, the CBI has alleged. The agency had carried out a preliminary enquiry, on the orders of the Gauhati High Court, into one such work related to construction of a Kendriya Vidyalaya building in Umroi cantonment, Shillong worth INR 1.23 crore, the officials said.

It is alleged that several contracts were given to Mary Associate, a firm owned by Tuki’s sister-in-law, Nabam Mary, which was maintaining a current account in the United Bank of India in which her husband Hari is one of the nominees. The contracts were given between 2005-07, the officials said. The high court on November 16, 2017 had ordered the CBI to carry out preliminary enquiry into 11 contracts followed by regular cases where prima facie evidence of corruption is detected.

The work in the Kendriya Vidyalaya building construction was done in two phases with contract for first phase given to the company in 2005.During the preliminary enquiry, the CBI found that the work was awarded to the company through 25 work orders each below Rs 3 lakh totalling to Rs 63.92 lakh. In addition, another six orders totalling Rs 5.15 lakh were also given.

“It was found that Arunachal Pradesh PWD followed CPWD manual and does not have its own manual which says that in urgent matters works can be awarded without call of tender if the value of work is below three lakh,” the CBI said. If its above INR one lakh the work can be sanctioned by superintendent engineer while below it can be sanctioned by executive engineer, it further mentioned. The PWD officials broke a big order into several smaller orders to avoid call for tender, the CBI alleged.

Notably, the firm of Tuki’s sister-in-law was not registered as a civil contractor with PWD, Arunachal Pradesh and did not have requisite licence. It was given trading licence to run business of electrical goods, hardware, motor parts, lubricants and agri-equipment. After successful completion of the first phase, the company sought second phase of tender worth INR 90.46 lakh for the construction of 12 staff quarters to be awarded to it. This work was awarded to them in the form of 27 orders totalling INR 73.53 lakh keeping the tab of INR 3 lakh to avoid call of tender. Apart from Mary Associate, which was a major beneficiary, some works were also given to other companies, they said.

The agency also found that Mary is the owner of the company and nominee of company’s current account is her husband. Besides Hari and Mary, the agency also booked the then Superintendent Engineer Kuru Sera and Executive Engineer Teba Tedir.

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