Kishor Yerme, former executive engineer (road works), who had imposed a penalty on a defaulting contractor after the investigation into road scam, did so only to help the contractor get a clean chit in the case, according to the charge sheet filed by the Mumbai police.
Yerme, suspended from the post of executive engineer (roads), had on in May 2016 issued a letter to M/s J Kumar Infraprojects Ltd – M/s K. R. construction (JV), imposing a penalty of Rs90.70 lakhs for defaulting in their work. Yerme had imposed the penalty on the contractor for two roads in W – 266 ward. The demand was made after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner had ordered an inquiry and the investigation into the scam was going on.
The contractor had also given the demand draft of the penalty amount. However, the same was not cashed by the department as it was stopped by then chief engineer, who suspected foul play.
Sanjay Darade, chief engineer (roads and transport) has in his statement to the special investigation team (SIT) of the Mumbai police said the demand made by Yerme to the contractors was illegal. “Under regular circumstances, imposing a penalty was fine. However, in a case where a criminal case is already registered against the contractors for defaulting in their work, he ought to have consulted superior officials and taken permission before issuing a letter,” Darade said.
Darade said that the communication made by Yerme to the contractor under his signature was illegal as he did it without consulting any superior. The SIT has alleged that Yerme had issued the penalty and received the demand draft to help the contractor get a clean chit.