State questions top cop over project given to kin’s firmUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 00:43 IST
The state home department has asked for an explanation from Mumbai Police commissioner Sanjay Barve in the controversial awarding of the project to digitise the records of Mumbai commissionerate, to the firm owned by his son and wife. Home minister Anil Deshmukh said the decision on the project would be taken after the report from the commissioner was submitted. When contacted, Barve refused to comment.
The digitisation project was awarded to CrispQ Information Technologies, owned by Barve’s son Sumukh and wife Sharmila Barve, for five years by the previous BJP government. The proposal was sent to additional chief secretary (home) Sanjay Kumar and a copy was marked to office of the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, just days before model code of conduct for Assembly elections was announced in September this year. It was cleared within days as the government at the time noted that the project was on a pro-bono basis and did not have any pecuniary benefit. After this was reported in the media on Wednesday, the home department sought an explanation from the commissioner.
“We have asked for the report and appropriate action would be taken thereafter,” said Deshmukh.
A home department official said,“The project did not take off even after the approval. It was to be done pro bono.”
However, another official said that even though the project did not have pecuniary benefits there was conflict of interest. “It does reflect badly and the firm would have got advantage vis a vis the experience of handling such a big project.”