INDIA. Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids and arrested seven individuals on Sunday in connection with a case involving the fraudulent awarding of a Rs 56 crore contract for the construction of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) in Odisha.
The arrested individuals include five middlemen, an employee of the Central Public Sector Undertaking Bridge and Roof Company (India) Limited in Kolkata, and the owner of a construction company based in Rajkot.
The accused have been identified as Hetalkumar Pravinchandra Rajyaguru (Rajkot, Gujarat), Shashank Kumar Jain (Kolkata, West Bengal), Somesh Chandra (Noida, Uttar Pradesh), Veer Thakkar (Borivali, Mumbai), Rajiv Ranjan (Pandav Nagar Complex, Delhi), Tarang Agrawal (Delhi), and Ashish Rajdan, Secretary to the CMD of the Bridge and Roof Company (India) Limited. They are alleged to have conspired to obtain the contract by acquiring insider information about the bids after the tender was issued.
The CBI registered an FIR (RC2182023A0013 dated September 15) under sections 7A, 8, and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 based on information that certain individuals were demanding bribes to secure the construction contract for EMRS.
The investigation revealed that Jain, Chandra, Thakkar, and Ranjan had been demanding significant bribes from private contractors, including Rajyaguru, to ensure the contract was awarded to him.
The bribe amount was expected to be delivered to Jain on September 15, prompting the CBI to swiftly register the FIR and apprehend the suspects.
The case underscores the importance of curbing corruption in the awarding of public contracts and ensuring a fair and transparent bidding process.