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CBI asks ex-JK governor Satya Pal Malik to answer queries

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New Delhi: The CBI has asked former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik to answer certain queries in connection with an alleged insurance scam in the Union Territory, officials said on Friday.

This is the second time in seven months that Malik, who completed his terms as the governor of various states, will be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He was questioned in October last year after he concluded his gubernatorial responsibilities in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa and finally, Meghalaya.

Reacting to the development, Malik told PTI that the CBI has asked for his presence at the agency’s Akbar Road guesthouse here for “certain clarifications”.

“They want certain clarifications for which they want my presence. I am going to Rajasthan, so I have given them dates from April 27 to 29 when I am available,” he said.

The CBI registered two FIRs in connection with corruption allegations levelled by Malik in the awarding of contracts for a group medical insurance scheme for government employees and civil work worth Rs 2,200 crore related to the Kiru hydroelectric power project in Jammu and Kashmir.

Malik had claimed that he was offered a Rs 300-crore bribe for clearing two files during his tenure as the Jammu and Kashmir governor between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019.

The agency has booked Reliance General Insurance and Trinity Re-Insurance Brokers Limited as accused in its FIR related to a controversial health insurance scheme for Jammu and Kashmir government employees reportedly cleared by Malik at a state administrative council meeting held on August 31, 2018. The scheme was scrapped subsequently.

“… unknown officials of the finance department of the government of Jammu and Kashmir, by abusing their official positions in a conspiracy and connivance with Trinity Reinsurance Brokers Limited, Reliance General Insurance Company Limited and other unknown public servants and private persons, have committed the offences of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct,” one of the FIRs alleges.

They caused “pecuniary advantage to themselves and wrongful loss to the state exchequer during the period 2017 and 2018 and thereby, in this manner, cheated the government of Jammu and Kashmir”, it further alleges.

In the second FIR pertaining to alleged malpractices in the awarding of contracts for the civil work package of the Kiru hydroelectric power project, the CBI has alleged that the guidelines related to e-tendering were not followed.

“The case was registered on allegations of malpractices in the award of the contract worth Rs 2,200 crore (approximately) of civil works of the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP) to a private company in the year 2019,” it has said.

The agency has booked senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Navin Kumar Chaudhary, former chairman of Chenab Valley Power Projects (Private) Limited, M S Babu, former managing director, M K Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra, former directors, and Patel Engineering Limited.

“Though a decision was taken in the 47th board meeting of CVPPL (Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited) for re-tender through e-tendering with the reverse auction after the cancellation of the ongoing tendering process, the same was not implemented (as per the decision taken in the 48th board meeting) and the tender was finally awarded to Patel Engineering Limited,” the FIR alleges.


Press Trust of India

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