Central Minister Rijuju charged with Rs. 450 crore scam in hydel project

ministerSatish Verma, a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer who assisted the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, has said in a petition before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that his services as the Central Vigilance Officer (CVO) of a power corporation were curtailed as he had flagged a transportation scam worth Rs. 450 crore involving a relative of Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and also for investigating a fraudulent land deal in Gujarat.

Mr. Verma’s tenure as CVO of North Eastern Electrical Power Corporation (NEEPCO) was curtailed by a year in July, and he was simultaneously served notice for alleged “misconduct” and “unauthorised absence” from duty by the Home Ministry. In the affidavit, Mr. Verma said that all his outstation visits were accounted for and were done to investigate the fraudulent activities.

Mr. Rijiju represents Arunachal Pradesh in the Lok Sabha and the alleged scam pertains to the Kameng hydroelectric project being developed by NEEPCO.

Mr. Verma said that Goboi Rijiju, one of the affected transporters and a ‘distant cousin’ of Mr. Rijiju, came to his office in Shillong on December 29, 2015, and offered to help him with his promotion if the officer cleared his payments that had been stuck for months. To support this, Mr. Verma submitted an audiotape to the tribunal.

When contacted, Mr. Kiren Rijiju told The Hindu: “He (Goboi) is a distant cousin. Be it anyone, whether distant cousins or friends, will not tolerate if my name is used to get their works done. Anyway I will always ensure that my people don’t face hardship.”

The petition also contains a letter dated November 9, 2015, written by Mr. Rijiju to Power Minister Piyush Goyal seeking his intervention on the plea of people who transported boulders that their payment had been “stopped at the behest of CVO, NEEPCO”.

‘Malicious act”

In a 1,100-page petition before the Guwahati Bench of the CAT challenging the Home Ministry charge sheet, Mr. Verma alleged that “the malicious acts are meant to victimise the applicant for doing the work that he did in two phases (September 2010 to January 2011, and July 2012 to June 2013) for investigating the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, and bringing to light the underlying ugly truth of the criminal conspiracy involving the high and mighty in both the Gujarat State and the Central Government.”

Mr. Verma said the then NEEPCO CMD, P.C Pankaj, was complicit in fraud involving a civil works contractors, Patel Engineering Ltd., which was fraudulently procuring boulders for dam construction and cheated the corporation through fake documents.

“NEEPCO went beyond the contract conditions and agreed to pay for transportation cost of the boulders, technically called ‘extra lead’ because of the extra distance of transportation. The contractor was getting boulders from some nearby places but billing NEEPCO as if boulders were being transported from much longer distances. The financial implication of this fraud was approximately Rs. 450 crore,” Mr. Verma said in the petition.

Mr. Pankaj, who retired in June, said, “I have nothing to do with his removal; it was done by the union government. Once I had written to the government that he was moving to different locations without informing me. As far as the payment of the extra lead is concerned, it is misunderstood. It is decided by the Board. The Kameng project was stuck for long, government of Arunachal had given an approval to collect boulders from a river bound location.”

Mr. Verma mentions a joint venture of NEEPCO with a company, ECI, for wind power generation in Gujarat. The petition says ECI was chosen though it did not qualify as per the fundamental criterion of possessing the required land.

नई दिल्ली. मोदी सरकार में गृह राज्यमंत्री किरण रिजिजू ने कहा कि जो लोग खबर प्लांट कर रहे हैं। अगर वे उनके क्षेत्र (अरुणाचल प्रदेश) में आएंगे तो वे जूते खाएंगे। लोगों की सेवा करना क्या करप्शन है? एक विजिलेंस रिपोर्ट में नॉर्थ ईस्टर्न इलेक्ट्रिक पावर कॉर्पोरेशन (NEEPCO) में करप्शन के मामले में रिजिजु का नाम सामने आया था। रिपोर्ट रिजिजू के कजिन के नाम का जिक्र...

– द इंडियन एक्सप्रेस में छपी खबर के मुताबिक, चीफ विजिलेंस ऑफिसर सतीश वर्मा की 129 पेज की रिपोर्ट में पीएसयू के चेयरमैन एंड मैनेजिंग डायरेक्टर समेत टॉप पोस्ट पर बैठे कई अफसरों को करप्शन के लिए जिम्मेदार बताया गया था।
– रिपोर्ट में रिजिजू के कजिन और कॉन्ट्रैक्टर गोबोई रिजिजू का भी नाम था।
– रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक, 600 मेगावॉट के कामेंग हाइड्रो प्रोजेक्ट के दो डैम बनने के दौरान गड़बड़ी की बात कही गई थी। कामेंग को अरुणाचल के सबसे बड़े हाइड्रोइलेक्ट्रिक प्रोजेक्ट्स में से एक माना जाता है।
– रिपोर्ट आने के बाद वर्मा को त्रिपुरा में सीआरपीएफ में ट्रांसफर कर दिया गया।
रिजिजू ने पावर मिनिस्ट्री को लिखा था लेटर
– रिजिजू ने पावर मिनिस्ट्री को गोबोई को फंड रिलीज करने के लिए लेटर लिखा था।
– रिजिजू ने कहा, ‘जो लोग उनके खिलाफ खबरें प्लांट कर रहे हैं। वे उनके यहां आएंगे तो उन्हें जूते पड़ेंगे। क्या लोगों की मदद करना करप्शन है?’
– सफाई में रिजिजू ने कहा, ‘ये खबर किसी ने बदमाशी करके प्लांट की है। हां, मैंने लेटर लिखा है लेकिन उसमें ऐसा कुछ नहीं है।’
– कांग्रेस के निनोंग एरिंग ने कहा, ‘मामले की जांच होनी चाहिए। सच अपने आप सामने आ जाएगा।’

किसे भेजी गई थी रिपोर्ट?
– वर्मा ने जुलाई में ये रिपोर्ट सीबीआई, सीवीसी (चीफ विजिलेंस कमिश्नर) और पावर मिनिस्ट्री को भेजी थी।
– रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक, कॉन्ट्रैक्टर्स, नीपको ऑफिशियल्स और वेस्ट कामेंग डिस्ट्रिक्ट एडमिनिस्ट्रेशन की मदद से करोड़ों का हेरफेर किया गया।
– बता दें कि वेस्ट कामेंग, किरण रिजिजू की कॉन्स्टिट्यूएंसी है।
– एक्सप्रेस की खबर की मानें तो सीबीआई ने दो बार चैकिंग की लेकिन एफआईआर दर्ज नहीं की।


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