Madhya Pradesh: Economic Offences Wing failed to arrest Mantena in 20 months

BHOPAL: The arrest of Srinivas Raju Mantena, chairman of Mantena Constructions, has put a question mark on the Economic Offences Wing’s (EOW) action on e-tendering scam.

In April 2019, an FIR was registered against Mantena in connection with e-tender.

Besides Mantena’s name, the FIR contained the names of the directors of other companies.

The probe agency has not taken any action against any big fish during the past 20 months. The agency registered a preliminary enquiry in 2018, but the case was swept under the carpet after that.

After the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) action there is pressure on EOW which held several rounds of meeting on the e-tendering scam on Thursday.

The report of Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has not yet been received.

Now that there is a directive for following up the report, EOW may speed up inquiry into the case.

Besides some directors of Asmo Solutions Private Limited, a few lower-rung officials were arrested in connection with the case.

A challan containing the names of lower-rung officials was also produced before the court.

The FIR consists of the names of companies which get big tenders, but EOW quizzed none of them.

Besides Mantena, the names of several companies are related to the scam. Those companies used to tamper with the records to get tenders.

It is because of the ED’s action that EOW has to take action against those people.

As ED has begun an inquiry into the matter, EOW cannot pray to the court to close the case due to lack of evidence.

After the arrest of Mantena, ED will inquire into the aspect of money laundering in the case. The agency may also tighten its noose around those who were involved in the scam.

Central Government sent funds for the tenders in which irregularities took place. Therefore, the case may be handed over to CBI.

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