CBI files FIR against senior NHAI official for favouring tender allotment

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against an officer of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and a private firm in connection with a tender worth over Rs 9 crore for improvement and maintenance of a section of a road in Jammu.

The FIR has been filed against Hem Raj, a regional officer of NHAI (regional office), Jammu, Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary, and his firm owner Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary.

The federal probe agency lodged the FIR on the basis of a preliminary Inquiry conducted by the CBI.

It was alleged in the preliminary Inquiry (PE) that the accused firm illegally got a tender dated January 10, 2018 for improvement and routine maintenance of Lakhanpur-Jammu section. The deal, worth Rs 9.34 crore, was in violations of terms and conditions of the tender.

“It was alleged in the PE that Hem Raj (NHAI official) entered into conspiracy with Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary and favoured the firm with the tender. It was also alleged that experience certificates submitted by the firm along with the bid, did not mention whether the road constructed from Atholi to Palali section in Kishtwar district was a 02-04-06 lane highway.

Whereas, experience certificates of four other qualified bidders had specifically mentioned that the roads constructed by them were 02-04-06 lane highway,” said the officials.
It is suspected that this important fact was overlooked while processing the bid.

Sources said the experience certificates submitted by Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary for his firm were allegedly found to be fake and forged.
“Searches were conducted at seven places in Jammu, Chandigarh and Ropar on Friday, which led to recovery of incriminating documents, hard disks, other digital evidence,” said officials.

“While cash more than Rs 65 lakh was recovered from the contractor’s house, Rs 2 lakh was recovered from the regional officer’s premises,” said CBI spokesperson RC Joshi.

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