Cement worth Rs 1,56,73,288 purchased to ‘confer undue pecuniary benefit upon SICOP and its private suppliers’, inquiry finds
Srinagar: The State Vigilance Organisation (SVO), Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) for corruption against Daleep Thusu, former Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation Limited (JKPCC).
Director Vigilance SJM Gilani told Kashmir Reader that the corruption case will be investigated and a charge sheet will be filed against those found accused.
Sources revealed to this newspaper that FIR No 46/2017 against Thusu has been registered in the in Vigilance Organisation police station in Jammu. The FIR has been registered under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Ranbir Penal Code. It was registered after the SVO “verified” allegations that Thusu purchased some items from the Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (SICOP) at exorbitant rates.
“The aforesaid acts of omission and commission on the part of officers/officials of JKPCC discloses commission of offences punishable u/s 5 (1) (d) r/w 5 (2) J&K PC Act 2006 and Section 120-B RPC,” sources quoting details of the FIR said.
Thusu was removed as Managing Director JKPCC on November 9 this year. He was attached to the office of commissioner, development works, till further orders.
Sources in the SVO said that “During the course of verification it surfaced that JKPCC had floated NIT vide No JKPCC/P/J/01 of 2014-15 dated 17-05-2014, for purchase of cement without approaching J&K Cement Ltd, which was mandatory as per government instructions. Due to reportedly poor response, the tenders were cancelled and supply of cements was finalised in favour of M/S Jai Prakash Associates Ltd on previous financial year rate, i.e. Rs 263 per bag, at which cement was supplied from January 2015 to August 2015.”
The official sources informed that JKPCC subsequently allotted a fresh tender, at a higher rate of Rs 293 per bag, for the supply of cement.
“M/S Jai Prakash Associates Ltd were declared the lowest bidder who had quoted the rates Rs 263/bag but JKPCC issued another tender vide NIT No JKPCC/P/J/02 of 2015-16 dated 05-02-2016 wherein M/S Jai Prakash Associates Ltd were declared the lowest bidder who had quoted the rates Rs 293/bag. SICOP had not participated in any of these tenders,” the sources informed.
Then, inexplicably, JKPCC opted to receive cement from SICOP at an average rate of Rs 412 per bag. It received 38,000 bags from SICOP at this rate.
“Despite the fact that there was no interruption of cement supply on the part of M/S Jai Prakash Associates Ltd with whom JKPCC had entered into a contract to supply cement at Rs 293/bag pursuant to the finalisation of tender, it for unknown reasons placed a supply order with SICOP,” the sources said. “JKPCC opted for supply of cement from SICOP at an average rate of Rs 412/bag to the tune of 38,000 bags amounting to Rs 1,56,73,288.”
The SVO investigations revealed that the JKPCC had purchased cement from SICOP without any formal orders and in violation of norms.
“JKPCC in utter disregard to the NIT proceedings purchased cement on highly exorbitant rates from SICOP without any legal justification and with objective to confer undue pecuniary benefit upon SICOP and its private suppliers. Thus, the officers of JKPCC with corrupt motives and in connivance with one another by abuse and misuse of their official position as public servants illegally purchased cement quantity in question from SICOP which resulted in huge loss to state exchequer,” sources said, quoting from the SVO inquiry.
When contacted, JKPCC vice-chairperson Khalid Jahangir told Kashmir Reader, “Our government has already attached Mr Daleep Thusu, as our government has zero tolerance on corruption. In our fight against corruption, anyone found in such practice will be dealt under law.”
Earlier this year, an audio clip had gone viral on social media in which Thusu was heard demanding a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from his subordinate for closing down a corruption case.
Thusu was elevated as MD JKPCC during the regime of former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and later was appointed as Managing Director JK Housing Board. He was also given charge of Secretary Sports Council.