Published On : Wed, Mar 30th, 2016

3 top babus, contractors booked by ACB for Mokhabardi irrigation project tender scam

Nagpur: Months after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave his go-ahead for an open inquiry in the multi-crore irrigation scam, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Nagpur Unit, has booked three more top State Government officials and six others of contracting firm in connection with the blatant irregularities in tendering process of construction and earth work of Branch Canal of Mokhabardi Lift Irrigation Project coming under Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC). The nine accused booked include Sopan Ramrao Suryavanshi (65, retired Chief Engineer) of Aurangabad, Umashankar Vasudeo Parvate (59, retired Executive Engineer of Gosikhurd Left Canal) of Manewada Ring Road, Nagpur, Chandan Tulshiram Jibhkate (57), Senior Divisional Accounts Officer (57), of Ayurvedic Layout, Umred Road, Nagpur and the Directors of the contracting firm R J Shah and Company Ltd, Mumbai, Kalindi Rajendra Shah (67), Tejaswini Rajendra Shah (64), and Directors of its partner firm D Thakkar Constructions Pvt Ltd Vishal Pravin Thakkar (36), Pravin Nathalal Thakkar (67), Jigar Pravin Thakkar (38), and Arun Kumar Gupta.

All the nine accused were slapped charges under Sections 13(1)(C), 13(1)(D), 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 read with Sections 420, 468, 471, 109, 120(B) of IPC in the offence number 3309/2016 registered with Sadar Police Station on 30.3.2016. The offence against the accused was registered after an in-depth investigation by ACB and subesequent revelation of grave irregularities in
tendering process of construction and earth work of Branch Canal of Mokhabardi Lift Irrigation Project coming under Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).

The sleuths of ACB are carrying out searches at the residences of three officials as well as officers and residences of Directors of contracting firms for the purpose of collecting documentary and other evidence.
According to details, the VIDC had floated tenders for construction of Branch Canal of Mokhabardi Lift Irrigation Project in Chandrapur District. At that time, it was shown that four contractors hads participated in the tender process. The contract was awarded to R J Shah & Company Ltd and D Thakkar Constructions Pvt Ltd (JV).

During the investigation, the ACB found that in order to show competitive bidding in the tender process by the accused firms R J Shah & Company Ltd and D Thakkar Constructions Pvt Ltd (JV) and others, the Thakkar family’s S N Thakkar Constructions Pvt Ltd participatyed in the tender process. Similarly, the EMD amount, along with the tender of other competing firm Shrinivasa Constructions, was deposited through the bank account of D Thakkar Constructions Pvt Ltd itself. Thereafter, the accused indulged in a series of acts of cheating, forgery, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy in order to deceive Statye Government and VIDC in connivance of accused top officials. The three accused officials misused their official position and powers blatantly and wrongly evaluated the tenders to favour the accused contractors despite knowing fully well that the firms indulged in illegal acts to bag the project.

The ACB investigation was carried out by Deputy Superintendent of Police Milind Totre and his team under the supervision of Superintendent of Police (ACB).