The Bombay High Court directed the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to make inquiries against the BEST general manager and its committee in connection with the purchase of alleged defective meters worth more than Rs 5.15 crore.
Justice R.S. Mohite on Thursday was hearing an anticipatory bail application filed by Sushil Tandon, retired chief engineer (distribution), BEST.
In February, the EOW had booked Tandon and two others for criminal conspiracy and causing the undertaking a loss of more than Rs 5.15 crore, after Ravishankar Kamble, chief security officer, BEST, had filed a complaint.
After the sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail, Tandon approached the high court.
Satish Borulkar, Tandon’s counsel, pointed out that BEST general manager Uttam Khobragade and its committee had cleared the purchase of the alleged defective meters on May 14, 2007.
“Tandon was appointed as chief engineer (distribution) on July 1, 2008. This shows he had no role to play in the purchase of said meters,” argued Borulkar.
Khobragade told Hindustan Times: “The file was sent to me after the heads of finance, accounts and technical departments had cleared it saying this was the ‘only suitable meter’. When three heads of departments, who are experts in their respective fields, clear it, how can I hold the file?”
“Within a couple of hours, I signed the report and sent it to the BEST committee, which is the deciding body,” he added.
Khobragade said when his staff told him that the meters were faulty he asked them to get them rectified from the supplier.
“When the supplier could not be contacted, I asked my officer on special duty to investigate into the matter and register a first information report, if required,” he added.
The high court granted Tandon interim anticipatory bail until April 26.