Guwahati: In a sensational revelation to the alleged Rs 158-crore scam in Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) during 2014-18, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has exposed how six officials made repeated/double payments of bills for single Notice Inviting Tenders (NIT) for some newspaper groups which were either not in circulation at all or in circulation within limited area not known by the general public.
Repeated/double payments of bills were made for single Notice Inviting Tenders (NIT) for some lesser-known newspaper groups such as Ami Asomor Janagan, Kolkata Tender & Auction News (Weekly) and Sadbhawana Ka Prateek, etc, the CBI alleged in a report dated July 2.
Meanwhile, on charges of issuing advertisements to a number of fake and non-existing newspapers and magazines in Bihar, Central India and Northeast India in between the years from 2014 to 2018, the CBI has registered a suo-motu case against some officials of the NF Railway.
The front-ranking investigating agency of the country has registered the case under Sections 120B, 409, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the India Penal Code (IPC) against all the suspected officials.
NF Railway officials against whom the FIRs have been lodged are Dilip Chandra Bora, senior relations officer in NF railway; Haradhan Dey, retired office superintendent; Babul Chandra Medhi, office superintendent; MMY Alam, chief publicity inspector; Hitesh Deka, assistant under FA and CAO; Prabir Das Purukasthya, senior cashier.
Earlier on Thursday, sleuths of the CBI raided the offices and quarters of six railway officials in the city for their alleged involved in the multi-crore scam.
The sources in the CBI alleged that during the period of 2014-18, these people entered into criminal conspiracy among themselves and with other unknown persons to cheat the NF Railway with dishonest intention and thereby, prepared, submitted, accepted, passed and disbursed huge amounts of money against fake bills relating to advertisements of approved NIT in various newspapers by abusing their official power/position, causing huge wrongful loss to NF Railway to the tune of more than Rs 100 crore and wrongful gain themselves and others.
It is further alleged that the suspected public servants falsely created records as if they had given advertisements in the newspapers which in fact are not in circulation at all. “They have fraudulently passed more than one bill for single/same advertisement and they have raised more than one bill against single NIT,” the CBI said.
It is also alleged that there are discrepancies in release orders (RO) date and date of publication of advertisements in respect of Bill Memorandum No.51/Sr. PRO/Con/MLG for Rs 2,47,360, Bill Memorandum No 52/Sr. PRO/Con/MLG for Rs 2,27,354, Bill Memorandum No 53/Sr. PRO/Con/MLG for Rs 2,06,230, etc, from these, it is observed that the RO issue dates and bill dates are same which indicates that the bill were prepared on the same date of issue of release orders indicating inexplicable urgency.
The font size mentioned in the release orders were 6 point in single column advertisement. But the advertisements were published in double/triple column and font size was beyond 6 point and thereby increased measurement of advertisement to grab public money, the CBI said. Necessary entries in the issue register were not made by Haradhan Dey, the then office superintendent and Babul Chandra Medhi, office superintendent and same were not maintained properly in the official records,
Acting on a report, the CBI registered a suo-motu case (bearing no 06/2019) against the six NF Railway officials who, according to the allegations, were directly involved in the case.
The CBI seized several documents, bank passbooks and computer hard discs from different raided locations for the purpose of the investigation. Sources in the CBI said that some senior officers of the investigating agency have already started interrogating all the six accused.