NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested two people, including a senior official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and a representative of a private firm GHV (India) Private Ltd in connection with an alleged bribery case of Rs 10 lakh.
A CBI official said that the agency sleuths arrested Digvijaya Mishra, posted as CGM of NHAI at Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, and TP Singh of GHV (India) Private Ltd, Mumbai in connection with an alleged bribery case of Rs 10 lakh.
The arrest comes after the agency registered a case against Mishra as he was adopting illegal ways to favour the private company in National Highways projects in Gujarat.
The official said that CBI arrested Mishra from his residential premises in Gandhinagar red-handed while accepting Rs 10 lakh. Following the arrest, the agency sleuths searched his premises and seized cash to the tune of Rs 20.5 lakh.
The official said that besides the premises of Mishra, the CBI also carried out searches at the premises of others in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh and Jaipur.
Besides Mishra and Singh, the CBI has also named Jahid Vijapura, MD of GHV India Pvt Ltd, Shivpal Singh Chaudhari, MD of New India Contractors and Developers Pvt Ltd based in Ahmedabad, RB Singh, GM of the MKC Infrastructure Ltd based in Gandhinagar, Ankur Malhotra of New India Contractors and Developers Pvt Ltd based in Ahmedabad, other unknown public servants and private persons.
The CBI said that it has received information about the corruption by Mishra, presently posted as Chief General Manager (Tech) of the NHAI in Gandhinagar, of allegedly indulging in corrupt and illegal activities in connivance with certain representatives of private companies working in NHAI projects under his jurisdiction. It was alleged that he showed favour towards them in the issuance of completion certificates, processing of bills, smooth progression of the awarded works and others.
The CBI alleged that it got information from the source that projects awarded to GHV (India) Private Ltd under NHAI are directly under the supervision of Mishra. Singh regularly meets him in his office and at his residence in connection with smooth execution, processing of completion certificates and EOT requests and passing of bills relating to the ongoing projects not only of his company but also of a few other companies.
The CBI official said that in the FIR it was also alleged that the company officials were in contact with the Regional Officer of NHAI, Gandhinagar for obtaining favours through illegal means, especially in respect of their ongoing project Package-I (Ahmedabad-Dholera from KM 0.00 to KM 22.00), Package-II (Ahmedabad-Dholera from KM 22.00 to KM 48.52) and RE Wall (reinforced earth wall used for sustaining soil laterally so that it can be retained at different levels on both sides of the carriageway) as well as EOT (Extension of Time) matter of Package-III Construction (Ahmedabad-Dholera from KM 48.52 to KM 71.06).
He said that in pursuance of the said conspiracy, Singh, as per the directions of Mishra, agreed to come to his residence at Gandhinagar.
“Singh was also allegedly collecting the payment of undue advantage, to be paid to the NHAI officer, on behalf of other companies also,” he added.
Last week, GHV emerged as the lowest bidder for Coal India’s two tenders for coal imported tenders of 3 million tonnes each. The value of these contracts is estimated at about Rs 9,000 crores. It partnered with Indonesian firm Bara Daya Energi which was blacklisted by the Gujarat government’s power generation arm Gujarat State Energy Corporation last year for failing to supply the contracted quantity of coal.
India is witnessing a severe coal shortage on account of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. Recently, Power Ministry directed Coal India limited to import coal to meet the demands of state-owned and private power projects. GHV India and its consortium partner Bara Daya emerged as the lowest bidder for two of the tenders to supply coal on the East and West Coasts. Mumbai-based GHV is engaged in EPC services for highways, railways and buildings among others.