BHOPAL : Former minister of food and civil supplies and Chairman, M.P. State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited Om Prakash Dhruve has been acquitted in a case filed under Prevention of Corruption Act registered by Lokayukta in 2007. ADJ Sanjiv Kalgaonkar ordered in this regard on Thursday.

Lokayukta had filed case against  Dhurve for  misusing his position as a public servant. He deliberately delayed the award of contract for transportation of food articles for the 2004-05, in order to give undue pecuniary advantage to  Mukesh Goyal, who had been awarded such contract for the previous year i.e., 2003-04 at higher rates than the rates quoted by the lowest tenderer for 2004-05 causing corresponding loss to the Corporation to the tune of Rs.8,02,495.

According to Lokayukta, it  is proved, prima facie, that  Dhurve by unnecessarily delaying the decision (i) by withholding the files with himself for long periods (ii) by calling back the files  even after approving the rates of the lowest tenderer, (iii) by adopting the strategy “to discuss” and (iv) also by inventing a justification for the delay which did not really exist that enquiry into the work and conduct of Mohd. Shafiq and Company was necessary before taking the final decision, with the ulterior purpose of giving undue pecuniary advantage to  Mukesh Goyal and  causing corresponding loss to the Corporation, misused his position as a public servant, which is punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act.  He also violated the fundamental right of equality of Mohd. Shafiq.

The M.P. State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited, had invited tenders for the transport of food articles for the year 2004-05 for several districts of Madhya Pradesh.  The articles were to be transported from rack points to distribution centers, or vice versa.  The tenders were to be opened on 10.11.2003 at 3.30 p.m. and were accordingly opened.  Mohd. Shafiq, the proprietor of Mohammed. Shafiq and Company was one of the tenderers for three rack points– Pipariya, Itarsi and Banapura  of district Hoshangabad and the rates quoted by him were the lowest.  Defense counsels Ajay Mishra, EA Qureshi and Mukesh Rajput had argued in the case.  Former minister Om Prakash Dhruve, talking to Free Press, said, “I and even Mukesh Goel have been acquitted in Lokayukta case”.

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