Congress account was genuine, depositors under scanner: SIT

The second phase of the investigations will begin soon and will look into the details of donors.

dehradun Updated: Aug 08, 2018 22:11 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
Uttarakhand news
The NH-74 scam was unearthed by the then Kumaon commissioner in 2017.(HT FILE (REPRESENTATIVE PIC))

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is investigating the National Highways 74 scam of US Nagar has found that the account opened in the name of the Congress party in November 2016, just before the assembly elections, was the bonafide account of the party and not of any individual.

The second phase of the investigations will begin soon and will look into the details of donors, including builder Priya Sharma who has already been arrested by the police in the NH 74 scam.

“After investigation, we have found that it was the authorised account of the Congress party. This is, however, not a clean chit to the Congress party as the investigations would now focus on the connection between the builders and other benefactors who deposited money into the account, said senior superintendent of police Sadanand Date who heads the special investigation team that is investigating the scam.

The National Highway 74 (NH-74) scam was unearthed by the then Kumaon commissioner in 2017. The scam, which reportedly runs to around Rs 500 crore, points to revenue officials who allegedly worked in connivance with the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and helped farmers get compensation at commercial rates for their agricultural properties.

The officials are said to have taken a cut from the farmers for the excess compensation they got from the authorities. It is said that most of the farmers received 10 times the compensation that is given for agricultural properties.

Date said the primary focus of the investigation was whether this was a bogus account in the name of the Congress party or not, or whether it was an individual’s account. He said that former Congress state president Kishore Upadhyay was also questioned by the SIT in this connection.

Congress state general secretary Khajan Pandey said that the investigations has proved that it was the authorised account of the Congress party and there was nothing fishy about it. “Our party believes in transparency and the SIT is free to investigate the transactions,” said Pandey.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 22:11 IST