Theme park: Court slams CBI probe process

The Special CBI Court in Chandigarh has slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for failing to investigate the role of the former UT Administrator Gen S F Rodrigues

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 14, 2013 1:38:28 am

The Special CBI Court in Chandigarh has slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for failing to investigate the role of the former UT Administrator Gen S F Rodrigues (retd),his ADC and his son-in-law and for “wrongly overlooking” several “glaring” irregularities in the case registered against former top bureaucrats of Chandigarh Administration regarding alleged “corruption” in the controversial Amusement-cum-Theme Park project

As per the detailed judgment made available on Thursday,special CBI Judge Vimal Kumar said that despite clear directions from the court,CBI did not conduct a “thorough investigation” for the second time. The first CBI closure report was rejected by the court on May 18,2012 . A fresh probe was ordered on August 30,2012 . The premier investigating agency again submitted a closure report on March 7 stating it was unable to find anything incriminating against the officials.

Raising eyebrows at the investigation,the CBI court emphasised that “no investigations were carried out regarding the role and financial status of the then Administrator Gen Rodrigues despite the fact that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had opined his role to be under suspicion. No investigation regarding financial status of Nirvikar Singh,ADC to Gen Rodrigues,and Patrick err,son-in-law of the Administrator”.

“No investigation regarding financial implications of agreement in favour of M/s Unitech Limited have been carried out to know about the loss to public exchequer,” the CBI Court has ruled. Refusing to accept a quiet burial of the case,the court has held: “In light of above glaring facts,it is evident that CBI had not conducted a thorough investigation. In view of facts and circumstances as well as importance of matter and dealings of public servants in fiscal matters,acceptance of second closure report shall lead to loss of public faith in the public administration. So,the second closure report cannot be accepted”.

Commenting on the conduct of the three officers accused in the case,the Court has said “technical and financial bids had been separated by the officials-accused in gross violation of General Financial Rules despite specific note dated June 20,2006 “.

The alleged scam involved former UT advisor Lalit Sharma,former home secretary Krishna Mohan,former director (tourism) Vivek Atray and M/s Unitech Limited through its managing director Ajay Chandra. All four were booked on charges of criminal conspiracy,cheating,destruction of evidence and corruption by CBI.

‘Unnatural’ selection process

Raising suspicion at the “unnatural” way the bids were called,the CBI Court has ruled: “It is unnatural that after M/s DLF Limited was found to be successful in first stage and financial bids were called,the financial bid was not opened on basis of technical objection. So,the officials-accused initially dealing with all bids liberally and subsequently acted strictly and rejected bid of M/s DLF”. Some of the other crucial aspects “wrongly overlooked” by CBI are “Non-participation of M/s Unitech Limited at EOI stage,non-tracing of file of EOI by M/s Unitech Amusement Limited,ignoring of M/s Unitech Amusement Park Limited,which had participated EOI stage,M/s Unitech Limited having no experience of similar project”.

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