The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has issued summons to senior NCP leaders and former ministers Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare in connection with alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for irrigation projects which led to cost escalation.
The scam pertains to allegedly awarding sub-contracts to firms floated or controlled by the members of the Bhujbal family, for construction of the building at the cost of Rs. 100 crore in New Delhi when Congress-NCP coalition was in power in Maharashtra.
The ACB registered another case of cheating, forgery and criminal misconduct against five members of the Khatri family, who were all executive engineers in an irrigation project, and also against some unidentified Mantralaya employees.
The fresh FIR was registered after the ACB stumbled upon evidence against them. ACB officers said the FIR was registered against Fateh Mohamed Abdullah Khatri, Nisar Fateh Mohamed Khatri, Jaitun Fateh Mohamed Khatri, Abid Fateh Mohamed Khatri and Jahid Fateh Mohamed Khatri.
During the course of its investigation, the agency came to know that the accused had flouted norms in connivance with officials at Mantralaya to bag the Balganga dam project.
Asserting that no one would be spared in the irrigation scam, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday stated that the probe into the scam would lead to the arrest of the last man who had signed the files.
“There was a circular issued by the government in 2001 which clearly stated that a single contractor can’t get more than three projects. Our investigation revealed that in 2006 FA Constructions, which is owned by the Khatris, carried out six projects,” said an ACB officer.
Interestingly, when ACB officers went to the PWD office in Mantralaya to check and verify the documents the firm had submitted for registration, the papers were nowhere to be found. They later found out that, when renovation was on at Mantralaya, the papers had gone missing. Hence, the ACB booked unknown officials from Mantralaya for destroying evidence.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that there was no question of any political settlement in this regard since this scam.
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