Bhopal: A year on, Simhastha scam probe makes no headway

BHOPAL: The probe initiated by then Congress government into the multi-crore Simhastha scam has almost hit a roadblock with the change of guards in the state.

The two FIRs and six preliminary enquiries (PE) registered during the Congress regime in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the Simhastha may never come out of the files.

The Economic Offences Wing, which has been handed over the probe, is making no move. Congress had accused the then BJP government of committing gross anomalies to tunes of hundreds of cores in organising 2016 Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain. 

After coming to power, the Kamal Nath-led Congress government had ordered a probe into the alleged scam.

On September 12, 2019 the Economic Offences Wing had registered six preliminary enquiries (PE) in connection with the Simhastha scam.

On September 28, the two PEs were turned into FIRs and two other PEs were registered. However, since then no significant progress has been made in this direction. Till day two FIRs and six PEs have been registered in this case. The probe which was going at snail's pace has come to a stall after the BJP regained power in the state. The EOW officials are tight lipped as the regime has changed.

Soon after coming to power, the BJP government affected administrative changes in EOW and shifted most of the officials posted by the Nath government. Fresh appointments were made on the agency to ensure the things move in the ‘desired direction’.

Progress report: Only two FIRs in a year

The first FIR pertains to LED lights. In all 1664 LED lights worth Rs 3.60 crore have ‘gone missing’. The lights were scheduled to be installed in the mela area. Ujjain Municipal Corporation officials hands in gloves with the light supplier company HPL Electric and Power Services allegedly showed receiving lights on papers.  An additional payment of over Rs 3.50 crore was made for installing LED street lights in the Simhastha area.

EOW had registered FIR against the officials of UMC and the supplier company.

The second FIR is in connection with the scam in construction of toilets and light fittings in the 500 toilets and in 10 changing rooms. The officials of UMC had paid the entire amount although the work of Rs 1.32 crore was not done.

The FIR is registered against the officials of the UMC sanitation department including EE Ram Bahu Sharma, EE Rakesh Shrivastava, AE Piyuesh Bhargava and deputy engineer Shyam Sunder Sharma. The FIR is also registered against the director of Brick and Bond Infocom Siddharth Jain in the case.

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