The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against former defence contractor Shambhu Prasad Singh and others for alleged financial irregularities in the supply of pre-fabricated shelters.
Shambhu had been named political attache to Union Minister Gen (retd) V K Singh for Ghaziabad from where the former Army chief was elected to Lok Sabha last year.
The ED registered a case on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI in October 2014 against unknown officials of the Cabinet Secretariat and the Special Frontier Force and three directors of a private firm, M/s Sai Baba Builders and Consultants, linked to Shambhu for allegedly repeatedly showing undue favours in the supply of pre-fabricated shelters for the SFF causing undue gain to the suppliers to the tune of Rs. 21.6 crore.
“The ED has registered a money laundering case based on an FIR filed by the CBI earlier. We have also identified some movable and immovable assets of the accused in Delhi and Kolkata. We will summon the accused for questioning and record their statements,” an ED source said.
While the CBI had only named the three directors – Shambu’s wife Manjari, Shyam Sunder Bhatter and J P N Singh in the FIR, the agency officials had said Shambhu was “very much under the scanner”.
Searches had been conducted at the residences and the offices of the accused at three locations in Delhi and NCR, and another in Kolkata where J P N Singh lives.
The allegations against the public servants and the suppliers pertain to tweaking of tender conditions, cartelisation of firms bidding for the contracts, supplying forged documents to secure contracts and not providing bank guarantees. The irregularities are alleged to have taken place between 2009 and 2013, with contracts worth Rs 3.96 crore secured by the firm between 2009-11 and contracts worth Rs.17.6 crore between 2010-13.
The tender conditions for supply of pre-fabricated shelters for the SFF at high-altitude locations were allegedly tweaked to favour firms Sai Baba Builders and Consultants, Rockside Impex, and Dynamic Shells. Since these firms had common directors, there was also a suspected aspect of cartelisation to secure the contracts. The unknown public servants also gave favourable inspection reports to favour the suppliers, the CBI had alleged.
According to the CBI, the case was registered on the basis of a complaint it received recently from a special secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat. The CBI had received a reference from the PMO seeking a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the supply of tents to the SFF which was confirmed by an internal probe by the R&AW.