Taking a serious view of the unprecedented procurement of stores worth more than Rs 100 crore in the military engineering services (MES), Western Command commander Lt Gen Philip Campose has launched a court of inquiry (CoI) against former commander works engineer (CWE), Chandimandir, Col Hemant Jha.
Jhawas posted at Chandimandir from June 2010 to December 2012. At present, he is the additional chief engineer in the Bhopal zone.
The CoI will look into allegations that Jha had allegedly procured more than R100 crore of substandard electric and water supply stores through middleman Vikas Saini.
Of the amount, R30 crore worth of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have been procured for a small station like Chandimandir. It is alleged that the order is even more than the requirement of Chandigarh city.
A complaint against him was lodged in 2010 by a supplier but it was not taken up. It is alleged that during his tenure, Jha changed the stringent procedure of procurement laid down by the Government of India by keeping the stores officer out of the loop.
Now, Maj Gen Paramjit Singh, Major General Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), has been detailed as presiding officer of the CoI.
As per the sources, so far 28 witnesses have been summoned to Western Command headquarters.
Some senior officers could also face action after the outcome of the inquiry, as Jha alone could not have been capable of getting such a huge procurement.
At that time, Jha’s senior was chief engineer, Chandigarh zone, Yashwant Kumar, who is now being posted as the joint director general, personnel, in the headquarters, chief engineer, Western Command.
If Jha is found guilty, it will be mother of all scams at Western Command.