Premises of Satya Pal Malik’s former staff among 12 places raided by CBI
The raids were conducted in connection with CBI’s probe into alleged corruption in the awarding of a contract of a hydel project in J&K.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday raided 12 locations, including premises of the then aide of former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) governor Satya Pal Malik, in connection with its probe into alleged corruption in the awarding of a contract of a hydel project in the Union territory, people familiar with the development said.
Besides raiding the residence of Saunak Bali, former media advisor to Malik, the federal agency also searched a chartered accountant Sanjay Narang, and several others, including Virender Singh Rana, Kanwar Singh Rana, Priyanka Chowdhary and one Anita, officials said. Overall, CBI sleuths raided 10 locations in Delhi and two in Rajasthan.
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The agency did not disclose if Bali was a suspect in the case.
The development comes weeks after the federal agency questioned Malik in connection with its probe on April 28. Earlier, CBI had recorded Malik’s statement in October last year after he concluded his gubernatorial responsibilities in Bihar, J&K, Goa, and Meghalaya.
CBI registered two first information reports (FIRs) last year in connection with the corruption allegations levelled by Malik in awarding of contracts for a group medical insurance scheme for government employees, and civil works worth ₹2,200 crore related to the Kiru hydroelectric power project in J&K.
Malik had claimed he was offered a ₹300-crore bribe for clearing two files during his tenure as the Jammu and Kashmir governor between August 23, 2018 and October 30, 2019.
“It is unfortunate that the CBI is harassing the complainant in this case,” Malik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “He (Saunak Bali) was my press advisor/secretary without any government salary.”
In its FIR pertaining to alleged malpractices in awarding of contract for civil works package of Kiru hydroelectric power project in 2019, the agency has claimed that guidelines related to e-tendering were not followed. The agency has named senior officials of the Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd — former chairman Navin Kumar Chaudhary, former managing director MS Babu, and former directors M K Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra — and Patel Engineering Ltd in the FIR.
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“Though a decision was taken in the 47th Board meeting of CVPPPL (Chenab Valley Power Projects Ltd) for re-tender through e-tendering with the reverse auction after the cancellation of the ongoing tendering process, the same was not implemented (as per the decision taken in the 48th board meeting) and tender was finally awarded to Patel Engineering Ltd,” the FIR alleged.