Seven months after an internal vigilance inquiry by the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) was submitted, the state government has finally ordered initiating criminal proceedings against 58 officials of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) for multi-crore financial irregularities.
In its order dated February 16, the chief secretary directed the power department to get criminal cases registered against the officials indicted in the probe.
Sources said chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has taken note of the inquiry report and okayed a file to book the 58.
In July, HT had reported the unearthing of a racket of fraudulent payments to the tune of crores in implementing the meter pillar box scheme in Faridabad power circle.
Last year, two private companies — Ishwar Metal Industry, Jaipur, and Saini Electricals, Palwal — were booked, whereas no action was initiated against the officials.However, chief engineer Subhash Deswal and more than two dozen officials of the Faridabad circle, part of the DHBVN, were suspended for their alleged role in favouring two contractors. As per the inquiry by director (vigilance), HVPN, MS Mann, the official-contractor nexus caused huge losses to the state exchequer.
Besides criminal proceedings, the report had recommended “recovery of loss caused to the public exchequer by the guilty”.
Bills to the tune of crores were shown cleared by the DHBVN authorities, but the inquiry revealed the material (electricity poles, boxes, cables etc.) was not even transported out of the premises of the firms who had been given the contracts for supplying the same.
It was also found that Ishwar Metal Industry and Saini Electricals had not been approved as vendors for the work allotted to them. Also, these firms were given the contracts even though they did not fulfil the financial eligibility criteria.
Orders worth nearly Rs 100 crore were released directly by issuing ‘limited tender inquiry’. firstname.lastname@example.org
In October 2013, Ishwar Metal Industry, Jaipur, was given 20 work orders against which bills of Rs 55.62 crore were raised. A payment of Rs 19.13 crore was released. However, the probe revealed the despatch of material (electricity poles, boxes, cables) worth only Rs 4.95 crore in that month Saini Electricals, Palwal, was given seven work orders in October 2013 and it raised a bill of Rs 16.95 crore. The DHBVN paid Rs 6.1 crore, even though the firm had sent material worth only Rs 22.87 lakh, the probe report said.