bADAL cHOUDHURY

Agartala, October 13, 2019:

A case has been registered on Sunday against present MLA and former PWD Minister Badal Choudhury, along with two other former top officials of Left front government in Tripura.

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Police also confirmed this and told vigilance investigation was ordered by the present government on earlier PWD works carried out in 2008-09 under the Left regime.

During the inquiry, vigilance has found various questionable aspects. And on the basis of those, on Sunday, a case has been registered against the former PWD Minister Badal Choudhury, former chief secretary Yashpal Singh and former chief engineer of PWD Sunil Bhowmik.

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According to police, the Tripura PWD department has found various questionable aspects in the works carried out in 2008-09. Hence a vigilance inquiry was ordered by the government in irregularities in “Finalization of tenders and allotment of infrastructure development projects to PSUs and Private Companies in 2008-09”.

These projects (roads, buildings and bridges) amounted to over Rs 600 crores. However, many norms were flouted in the tendering process like giving undue advantage to certain players over others, price escalation beyond stipulated 10% limit and eventually resulting in excess payment, causing massive losses to the state exchequer.

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Other violations, like post tender negotiations with all players and not following two bid systems, were also observed. The vital documents pertaining to the whole process went suspiciously missing from the department, prompting the PWD to lodge a theft case earlier.

Based on the PWD department observations and subsequent vigilance inquiry an FIR u/s 409, 418, 420, 201, 120B IPC and 13 PC Act was lodged today against Badal Chowdhury, YP Singh, Sunil Bhowmik and Others. West Agartala PS registered case No. 251/19 for this. The case will be investigated by the state Crime Branch.

Earlier, Badal Choudhury, was summoned by the crime Branch and he attended the investigation process. This is the first time when an FIR has been lodged against any CPIM Minister in Tripura.

It is pertinent to mention here that though Badal Chowdhury has claimed that PAC has dropped the para of Audit on similar charges, there is no bar to investigate the matter for corruption and criminal conspiracy. Also, the Audit had dealt with only one project out of many in question here.

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