Highway tender: ACB books firm for ‘irregularities’

The ACB registered a case of criminal misconduct, cheating and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code and certain sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the then Chief Engineer, the former Superintending Engineer and the then Executive Engineer.

Mumbai | Published: June 24, 2017 2:31 am
sion panvel highway, highway tender, indian express (Representational. Express Photo by Dilip Kagda. Files)

THE ANTI CORRUPTION BUREAU (ACB) has booked Kakade Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (KIPL) as one of the accused for alleged irregularities in the tender for Sion-Panvel highway and toll collection. BJP MP Sanjay Kakade was one of the founding directors of the company.

On Friday evening, the state agency registered a case of criminal misconduct, cheating and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code and certain sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the then Chief Engineer Prakash Mamdapure, the former Superintending Engineer Kisan Mane and the then Executive Engineer Rajendra Javanjal.

The companies —IVRCL Ltd and KIPL Ltd — were booked for cheating (420) criminal conspiracy (120(B)), criminal breach of trust (409), forgery (467, 468,) and common intent (34) of the IPC, along with Sections 13 1(c)(d), 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

“The accused being public servants, knowingly and dishonestly made a criminal conspiracy with the contractors to favour particular contractors viz. KIPL and IVRCL together in an (SPV)- Sion Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd (SPTPL). This helped them in getting the contract of Sion Panvel Highway,” the ACB alleged.

In November 2008, Chhagan Bhujbal, the then state PWD minister, had proposed to widen the 20 km Sion-Panvel Highway, with a new toll naka at Kamothe. Following this, a tender notice was issued. In 2009, IVRCL-KIPL, a joint venture-Sion-Panvel Tollways Ltd-bagged the contract. They offered the lowest viability gap fund of Rs 390 crore.

Subsequently, activist Pravin Wategaonkar filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking investigation into the alleged corrupt practices in the tender process.

The petitioner had alleged that KIPL, which had no prior experience in such projects, was awarded the contract. In March this year, the Bombay HC had asked the ACB to complete its open inquiry within three months. Kakade could not be reached for his comment.

rashmi.rajput@expressindia.com

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