Raxil Scam: Centre gives nod for CBI investigation

The CBI will now register a Regular Case and launch its investigation.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: August 22, 2015 3:51:49 am

Taking cognizance of the reference sent by Haryana government regarding the alleged multi-crore fungicide (RAXIL) purchase scam, the Union Government issued a notification on Thursday for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the case.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Government of India, issued the notification dated August 20 and forwarded it to the Director, CBI for further action. The CBI will now register a Regular Case (RC) and begin its probe.

It took the Haryana government over two years to decide on a CBI probe into the alleged scandal. The state government had sent a formal reference to the DoPT last week.

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The state not only sought a CBI probe into the alleged financial corruption angle, but also into the reasons under which “the then MD, HSDC, Ashok Khemka was prematurely transferred out of HSDC on April 4 and a junior departmental officer BS Duggal was posted as MD, HSDC”.

On March 29, 2013, Khemka had imposed two conditions in the purchase order of the fungicide. However, the then state government transferred him out of the HSDC and subsequently dropped the conditions. The CBI will also probe the cirumstances surrounding Khemka’s transfer.

The Indian Express was the first to report that the state government will be seeking a CBI probe after Haryana Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan “advised” the same to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

The state government’s reference seeking the probe, accessed by The Indian Express, mentions 14 major points.

These include “misappropriation of government subsidies, including central subsidies under Rashtiya Krishi Vikas Yojana Scheme (RKVYS) for purchase of the fungicide, which was not registered with Central Insecticides Board (CIB) to treat “karnal bunt” disease in wheat crop”.

“A thorough and a concerted investigation alone can establish these facts and financial misappropriation clearly and categorically including the aspect as to how and under which circumstances the veiled information, had indeed been circulated to growers/ dealers that they should all purchase the product from a single dealer,” state government’s reference to Government of India read.

Points Marked for CBI probe

* An advertisement appeared in a Hindi daily in 2012, which mentions RAXIL treats Karnal Bunt based on certain universities’ claims. Since the manufacturer disowned that advertisement, who gave that advertisement?
* All wheat seed growers/dealers purchased RAXIL through one source — Vishal Trading Company. “It is not possible for all seed dealers/ growers in entire state to purchase stocks from a single dealer alone to qualify for receiving subsidy on the product, unless there was something more to it than what meets the eye,” state government’s reference to CBI reads.
* Under what circumstances, the two conditions imposed by the then MD, HSDC imposed in the purchase order on March 29, 2013 were dropped?
* Reasons why Haryana Agriculture University (HAU) recommended RAXIL
* Has any study been carried out regarding infestation of loose smut, flag smut or karnal bunt diseases in wheat crop in Haryana before mandating the use of RAXIL?
* Propriety and legality of State Agriculture Department of Haryana, spending central money on RAXIL for unapproved treatment
* Why was a private company used to channelise supplies of RAXIL to private seed producers?

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