It took 12-hour shifts spread over seven days for the CBI officials to print these 1 lakh pages using two printers. The pages were divided into five bundles — one each for the three IAS officers accused in the scam, another for Unitech and one for CBI.(HT PHOTO)
It took 12-hour shifts spread over seven days for the CBI officials to print these 1 lakh pages using two printers. The pages were divided into five bundles — one each for the three IAS officers accused in the scam, another for Unitech and one for CBI.(HT PHOTO)

Printing 1 lakh pages of case documents: A tall order for CBI officials

Each of five bundles, prepared for CBI and four accused in the Sarangpur theme park case, stood tall at around 20,000 pages each.
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Tanbir Dhaliwal, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 06, 2020 12:59 AM IST

Having spent a whole week printing and compiling 1 lakh pages of the case surrounding the 2009 multi-crore Sarangpur amusement-cum-theme park project scam, the CBI officials assigned the job have finally heaved a sigh of relief after a job well done.

On Wednesday, it was over to the three former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, accused in the scam, who were faced with the Herculean task of taking possession of their bundles, standing tall at around 20,000 pages each.

A special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) handed over the documents to the then adviser to administrator Lalit Sharma, then UT home secretary Krishan Mohan and Vivek Atray, who held the charge of director, tourism. Real estate firm Unitech Limited is another accused in the case.

SEVEN-DAY PROJECT

It took 12-hour shifts spread over seven days for the CBI officials to print the 1 lakh pages using two printing machines. Five sets were prepared — one for each of the four accused and another for CBI.

The documents included the chargesheet, FIR, three CBI closure reports, court orders, the theme park agreement between UT administration and Unitech and the documents given by the firm to UT.

As the ownership of the pillars of documents changed on Wednesday, the associates of the accused’s advocates, were seen scurrying to find ways to carry the pages. Ultimately, they settled for carrying them in bags or wrapping them up in pieces of cloth.

THE CASE

In 2009, Vivek Aditya, a Right to Information (RTI) activist, had complained to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) about alleged financial irregularities in the project. Later, the case was shifted to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The CVC, too, submitted a report to the CBI, highlighting its crucial findings.

On October 4, 2010, the CBI registered an FIR against the three IAS officers and Unitech Limited (through its representative — director Ajay Chandra) for corruption, abuse of power and criminal conspiracy.

It was stated that the former top officials of the UT administration, in connivance with Unitech, indulged in a “criminal conspiracy” and awarded 73.65 acres of land in Sarangpur village to the firm for 5.5 crore fixed annual licence fee and on a 1.1% annual revenue sharing basis.

It was alleged that the administration ignored financial rules while inviting tenders and shortlisting companies and that these officers had allegedly “ignored” the highest bidder, DLF. The project has since been scrapped.

While CBI had filed a closure report, stating the “no criminality can be attributed to accused persons”, the court had rejected the report on January 6.

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