Madhya Pradesh EOW books ‘unknown politicians and bureaucrats’ in ₹3K crore e-tender scam

The EOW of MP State Govt has registered an FIR against unidentified bureaucrats and politicians in connection with ₹3000 crore e-tendering scam which surfaced near the end of the previous BJP govt

Shivraj Singh Chouhan (PTI)
Shivraj Singh Chouhan (PTI)
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Kashif Kakvi

Three days after Income Tax Department's raid at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's aid, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the State Government on Wednesday registered an FIR against unidentified bureaucrats of five departments and politicians in connection with the ₹3000 crore e-tendering scam.

The scam had surfaced during the end of Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh in 2018. The scam deals with the manipulation of e-procurement platforms of the MP government though which e-tenders were tampered with and chosen few private players were befitted with tenders in their favour.

Director General EOW, KN Tiwari said that tampering was detected in nine tenders of five departments, including PWD, PHE, water resources department, Jal Nigam, project implementation unit and road development department under relevant sections of the IPC and probe has launched.

However, the FIR lodged on Wednesday did not name anyone and it was lodged against ‘unknown bureaucrats and politicians’. The FIR has been lodged on the basis of preliminary evidences found in connection with tampering in e-procurement portal and the probe report findings of Computer Emergency Response Team (New Delhi), a communique from the Economic Offence Wing, the probing agency said.

The evidences and technical inputs suggested that through tampering in e-procurement portal total nine tenders including three tenders of Jal Nigam, 2 tenders of PWD, as many tenders of Water Resources Dept and one tender each of MP Road Development Corporation and PWD was forged.

In the process, the companies benefited from the tampering in software of e-procurement portal including those in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Baroda and Bhopal.

Those named in the FIR included unknown employees of MPSEDC, officers-employees of government departments concerned and directors of Bhopal based IT firm Osmo IT Solutions, Antares Private Limited Bangalore and officers concerned of TCS.

All these have been booked under section – 120-B, 420, 468, 471, section 66 of the IT act, section 7 and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and a probe has been undertaken, read the communique from EoW.

DG EoW KN Tiwari told media persons that registration of FIR claimed the anomalies took place from Jan to March 2018 and staffers involved in the e-tendering used to tamper with the software and learn about the tendered quotes and used the information to benefit chosen few companies.

During the assembly election, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and State party Chief Kamal Nath made it a major poll issue to corner the BJP government and also promised to probe the scam if voted to power in its manifesto.

AICC chief Rahul Gandhi had promised during the campaign "those involved in e-tendering scam won’t be allowed to flee the country, like Vijay Mallya did”.

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