Louis Berger scam: Gauhati HC orders CBI probe

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HT Bureau

Guwahati, Sept 2: Gauhati High Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into the multi-crore rupees Louis Berger bribery scandal, after the failure of state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to file the chargesheet in connection with the case involving politicians and top bureaucrats of the state.

Earlier, the High Court during PIL hearing, filed by social activist Bhaben Handique and two others, had asked the CID to submit a status report on the probe. Following this order, the state home department will write to ministry of home affairs (MHA) for handing over the case to the CBI for investigation.

The High Court earlier slammed the CID for failing to submit a status report on the progress of its investigation into the case. In the PIL, the petitioners sought an investigation by an independent agency, such as the CBI, into the scandal.

The state government ordered a CID inquiry into the scam in August 2015 after which the CID registered a case. In July 2015, Louis Berger International Inc, a New Jersey-based construction management company, told a court in the US that it had bribed officials to win the contract for project management consultancy in a Guwahati water supply project.

The US justice department said Louis Berger would pay $17.1 million as criminal penalty to resolve charges of bribing to win government contracts in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait between 1998 and 2010.

The CID had already submitted some documents before the court but failed to submit charge sheet of the scam. The state government has also received some crucial documents from the CID and the personnel and administration department (PAD) will send these papers to the CBI for further investigation.

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