CBI files graft case against Megha Engineering, second biggest Electoral Bond buyer | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

CBI files graft case against Megha Engineering, second biggest Electoral Bond buyer

ByNeeraj Chauhan
Apr 13, 2024 10:22 PM IST

According to the FIR, NMDC and MECON officials received over ₹78 lakh in bribes for payment of ₹174 crore to MEIL against 73 invoices

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case against Hyderabad-headquartered infrastructure firm Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL), the second largest buyer of Electoral Bond (EB), on charges of paying bribes to officials of NMDC Limited and engineering consultancy firm MECON Limited under the steel ministry in connection with payments against invoices.

CBI registered the FIR against Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL) on March 31 (Photo meil.in)
CBI registered the FIR against Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL) on March 31 (Photo meil.in)

MEIL has been in the news after Electoral Bond data released by the State Bank of India on the Supreme Court’s orders showed that it was the biggest donor of Electoral Bonds to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), contributing 584 crore to the party between April 2019 and October 2023. Overall, the firm bought bonds worth 966 crore (without including bonds bought by its wholly owned subsidiaries) between April 12, 2019 and February 2024.

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MEIL did not immediately respond to a request over email for comment, outside regular business hours.

The firm’s name also figured in the Income Tax department’s investigation of unaccounted income earned by the Congress in the assessment years from 2014-15 to 2020-21, which the Delhi high court order of March 22 said appeared to be “unaccounted transfers” by Hyderabad-based MEIL in three of these years.

The case was registered by the CBI on March 31, weeks after the EB data was first made public on March 14.

On March 18, CBI deputy superintendent of police at the agency’s Chhattisgarh office wrote to his superiors about the preliminary enquiry - a precursor to the FIR - that was registered in August last year.

According to the FIR made public on Saturday, NMDC and MECON officials received over 78 lakh in bribes for payment of over 174 crore against 73 invoices till December 2018 in connection with work related to the Jagdalpur integrated steel plant,

The firm was awarded the project related to works of the intake well, pump house and cross-country pipeline at the integrated steel plant Jagdalpur.

Those named in the FIR include MEIL, its general manager Subhash Chandra Sangras and public servants - Prasant Dash (former executive director of NMDC Ltd, now retired), Dilip Kumar Mohanty (director production at NMDC Iron and Steel Plant or NISP), Pradeep Kumar Bhuyan (DGM NISP), Naresh Babu (deputy manager, Survey NISP), Suvro Banerjee (senior manager NISP), L Krishna Mohan (chief general manager, finance, NMDC, now retired), K Rajshekhar (general manager, finance NMDC), Somnath Ghosh (manager finance, NMDC), Sanjeev Sahay (AGM Contracts, MECON Ltd), and K Illavars (DGM Contracts, MECON Ltd, now retired).

The FIR, seen by HT, said alleges that the contract for building the intake well and pump house, DWTP and cross-country pipeline including 5-year operation and maintenance contract of NMDC Iron and Steel Plant (NISP Ltd) was awarded to Megha Engineering, with another company in consortium – Koya and Company Ltd (KCCL), Hyderabad for 3.0 MTPA integrated steel plant at Nagarnar, Jagdalpur on January 23, 2015 at a value of 314.57 crore.

MECON Ltd was appointed by NMDC as a consultant for project management and construction supervision (PMC) services.

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