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Lokayukta case against ex-minister

THE LOKAYUKTA Special Police Establishment (SPE) has registered a case under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against former State Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Omprakash Dhurve and a contractor Mukesh Goyal.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 16:58 IST

THE LOKAYUKTA Special Police Establishment (SPE) has registered a case under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against former State Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Omprakash Dhurve and a contractor Mukesh Goyal.

Dhurve has been accused of misusing his power and official position while being the then State Civil Supplies Corporation Chairman in 2004-05, leading to a financial loss of more than Rs eight lakh to the corporation.

He is also accused of providing undue pecuniary advantage to the contractor and co-accused, Mukesh Goyal. In 2004-05, Dhurve had allowed Goyal to undertake food grain transportation work for the corporation in Piparia, Itarsi and Banapura rack points of Hoshangabad district on higher rates despite lower rates having not only been quoted by another contractor but also approved by the corporation. Goyal was the contractor who had conducted transportation work for the corporation in 2003-04.

However, in 2004-05 another contractor Mohammad Shafique of M/s Mohammad Shafique and Company had quoted the lowest rates and the corporation approved him for undertaking the work.

Nevertheless, when the file was sent to Dhurve for final approval, he procrastinated on the approval and kept sending the file back on some pretext or the other.

Moreover, the Lokayukta report mentions, Dhurve almost never put the date of his signature on any of his accompanying notes while sending the file back. He even directed the corporation officials to conduct an inquiry on complaints against Mohammad Shafique.

There was, however, just one complaint against Mohammad Shafique and the complainant was none other than Mukesh Goyal himself. Even so, that complaint too held no grounds, according to the corporation officials. 

The Corporation’s MD, GM and several other officials concerned continuously wrote to Dhurve requesting him to accord final approval to Mohammad Shafique but to no avail. Every time the file was returned on some excuse or the other.

Subsequently, due to the dillydallying in approving the rates for 2004-05 and issuing final orders for carrying out the work to Mohammad Shafique, Mukesh Goyal had to be allowed to undertake transportation of food grain for three months on higher rates of 2003-04.

That led to a loss of Rs 8.02 lakh to the corporation. Later, Dhurve was sacked from the state council of ministers and automatically from the post of Chairman of Civil Supplies Corporation.

An inquiry was constituted against him and a show cause notice served. However, he kept avoiding the hearings and did not even respond in writing to the notice. After some time, however, Dhurve submitted in writing his defence to the show cause notice.

After perusal of all arguments provided by Dhurve in his defence, the inquiry came to the conclusion that none of them were worthy. The matter was referred to the Lokayukta and the Special Police Establishment has registered a case against Dhurve and Goyal under Sections 13(1)D and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120B of IPC.