Assam Public Works president Aabhijeet Sarma holding a placard expressing displeasure over the final NRC in Assam
Assam Public Works president Aabhijeet Sarma holding a placard expressing displeasure over the final NRC in Assam|File image 
ASSAM

Assam NRC: Wipro under scanner again, fresh FIR filed with CBI

Wipro submitted fake bills, siphoned off huge amount of public money with active support from ex-state coordinator Prateek Hajela while updating Assam NRC, alleges rights group Assam Public Works

Team EastMojo

Team EastMojo

Guwahati: Alleging massive misappropriation of public money in the name of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, rights group Assam Public Works (APW) has a filled a fresh FIR against country’s leading IT services provider, Wipro Limited, at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office in Guwahati.

In the FIR, APW also mentioned the name of former Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela for his alleged role in misappropriation of huge amount of public money in updating the NRC.

APW is the primary petitioner in the writ petition pending before the Supreme Court of India wherein the Apex Court of the country is currently monitoring the NRC process in Assam. This is the sixth FIR filed against Wipro Limited, Hajela and others over the matter.

In the FIR, it has also been alleged that during the NRC updation process, Wipro was entrusted as one of the prime software installation companies by Hajela..

“M/s Wipro Limited was entrusted with system integrator worked for updating the NRC for Assam. Later, M/s Wipro Limited started submitting false bills from time to time for software installation and other system oriented works. Out of those, a bill was submitted by M/s Wipro Limited (System Integrator) amounting of Rs. 1.27 crore for procurement of ‘Oracle Standard One Edition’ and ‘Oracle Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition’, the amount of which was paid during the month of February, 2017 to August, 2017. However, as per the ground report of National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG) submitted to Office of the Accountant General (AUDIT), Assam no such system was installed and used for the updation of NRC in Assam. The amount was cleared by the Ex-NRC state coordinator of Assam, by indulging in conspiracy and mutual understanding with M/s Wipro Limited as revealed from the report,” Ghanashyam Kalita, who has filed the FIR at CBI, office of the head of branch, anti-Corruption Branch, Betkuchi Gorchuk in Guwahati, said.

Referring to reports of the Accountant General (Audit), the APW FIR further alleged that the company of global repute, which reportedly delivers innovation-led strategy, technology, and business consulting services, also allegedly submitted fake bills before the AG.

Wipro submitted a bill of 1-2 KVA sets of generators which were shown to be purchased and installed at 2,500 NSKs around the state of Assam, each amounting to Rs. 93,964. Accordingly, an amount of Rs. 34.76 crore was released to Wipro for installation of 3,700 generators, the FIR alleged.

“However, on field inquiry, the auditor at some NSKs came to know that the generators were not purchased but hired and, moreover, the market price of the hired generators is also not Rs 93,964 as submitted in bills, but is Rs 35,000 each, which clearly indicates the involvement of the then state coordinator of NRC with Wipro causing huge amount of loss to government exchequer,” the FIR alleged.

Talking to EastMojo, president of APW, Aabhijeet Sharma, criticised both the state and the Central government for their alleged silence over the massive scam that took place while updating the NRC in Assam.

“Both Centre and the state are silent and not interested in taking steps on the corruption held during the NRC process. Even the investigative agencies are not interested to find out the truth on corruption in NRC,” Sharma regretted.

After six-year-long exercise under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court and investing over Rs 1,200 crore and analysing over 60 crore documents, Assam NRC was published excluding almost 19 lakh people from the final list. However, a large section of leading organisations, people of the state have “rejected” the documents citing massive anomalies in the entire process.

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