CBI books Tuki’s brother in corruption case

NEW DELHI, Jun 29: The CBI has booked Nabam Hari, brother of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki, his wife and some PWD officers for alleged corruption in government contracts, officials said on Friday.
The case pertains to contracts handed by Tuki as the PWD minister in the state to his relatives for “selfish gains without inviting tenders,” the CBI has alleged.
The agency had carried out a preliminary inquiry, on the orders of the Gauhati High Court, into one such work related to the construction of a Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) building in Umroi cantonment in Shillong (Meghalaya) worth Rs 1.23 crore, the officials said.
It is alleged that several contracts were given to Mary Associate, a firm owned by Tuki’s sister-in-law, Nabam Mary, which was maintaining a current account in the United Bank of India in which her husband Hari is one of the nominees.
The contracts were given between 2005 and 2007, the officials said.
The high court on 16 November, 2017, had ordered the CBI to carry out preliminary enquiry into 11 contracts, followed by regular cases where prima facie evidence of corruption is detected.
The work on the KV building construction was done in two phases, with contract for the first phase given to the company in 2005.
During the preliminary inquiry, the CBI found that the work was awarded to the company through 25 work orders, each below Rs 3 lakhs, totalling to Rs 63.92 lakhs. In addition, another six orders, totalling Rs 5.15 lakhs, were also given.
“It was found that the Arunachal Pradesh PWD followed the CPWD manual and does not have its own manual which says that in urgent matters works can be awarded without call of tender if the value of work is below three lakhs,” the CBI said.
If it is above Rs 1 lakh, the work can be sanctioned by the superintendent engineer, while below it can be sanctioned by the executive engineer, it said.
The PWD officials broke a big order into several smaller orders to avoid call for tender, the CBI alleged.
The firm of Tuki’s sister-in-law was not registered as a civil contractor with the Arunachal PWD, and did not have the requisite licence. It was given a trading licence to run business of electrical goods, hardware, motor parts, lubricants and agriculture equipment.
After successful completion of the first phase, the company sought the second phase of tender, worth Rs 90.46 lakhs, for the construction of 12 staff quarters to be awarded to it.
This work was awarded to them in the form of 27 orders, totalling Rs 73.53 lakhs, keeping the tab of Rs 3 lakhs to avoid call of tender.
Apart from Mary Associate, which was a major beneficiary, some works were also given to other companies, they said.
The agency also found that Mary is the owner of the company, and that the nominee of company’s current account is her husband.
Besides Hari and Mary, the agency also booked to others. (PTI)