BHOPAL: Action taken by the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) in connection with e-tender scam has raised several questions.
The previous BJP government began an inquiry by registering a PE. On the other hand, only an FIR was lodged against the culprits during the Congress rule.
Now, the BJP government has returned to power but the inquiry against the big companies and the officers, who were involved in the scam, has hardly made any progress.
A few scamsters are still moving freely in the city. Neither the EOW is quizzing them nor any agency arresting them.
An accused in the scam, Max Mentena, has set up a massive office in the state capital. The director of the company, against whom an FIR was registered, is regularly attending the office.
The successive governments in the state did not take any action against JVPR Limited, Hume Pipes Limited, Madhav Infra and Rajkumar Narwani.
During the Congress regime, the authority tightened its noose around only one construction company-- Sorthia Belji Private Limited. The EOW had raided the premises of this company. Rest of them was let off the hook.
In a statement, a director of Asmo Solutions Limited admitted that he had fiddled with the e-tender after the directors of those companies told him to do so and registered an FIR. Nevertheless, all the companies have been left.
According to sources, the directors of those companies are enjoying parties with state bureaucrats, but the EOW has turned a blind eye to it.
Principal Secretary Manish Rastogi, who brought the scam to public, is in the Chief Minister’s secretariat on the same capacity, but there is no progress at all in the inquiry.
According to EOW SP Rajesh Mishra, they are waiting for some reports from the CERT. The inquiry into the matter will progress after the reports are received, Mishra said.
Mishra further said inquiry was on and that he recently joined the department. He will, however, see the reasons for not arresting the culprits.
Congress too helped; plaint to EOW about Chhindwara scam
The Congress raised the e-tender scam before the 2018 Assembly elections in 2018, but after four months of returning to power, it registered an FIR in connection with the scam. It, however, accused some junior officers and ended the matter. The Congress even gave some projects to Mentena Private Limited. The firm is constructing an irrigation complex in Chhindwara and a complaint about it was made to the EOW. The agency has begun an inquiry into the complaint of BJP’s district office-bearer Vivek Sahu. A case may be registered in this connection soon.
A sum of Rs 500 crore was paid to Mentena for constructing the irrigation complex within 20 days. Purchases worth Rs 500 crore were made within 25 days, Sahu said.
A complaint was also made to the collector, he said. According to reports, some senior bureaucrats were involved in this scam during the Congress rule.