Chandigarh, 12 September(Wishav Warta): Keeping in view the gravity of offence and heavy involvement of amount in a scam in State irrigation department, the Additional District and Session Judge Mohali today rejected the bail application of contractor Gurinder Singh who has been booked by the Vigilance Bureau in this case. Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of state VB said the Bureau has pleaded to the court that to probe irregularities in allotment of tenders in the irrigation department, a criminal case under section 13(1) d r/w 13(2) PC Act – 1988 and 406, 420, 467, 468, 471, 477-A and 120-B of IPC has been registered against Gurinder Singh contractor and four senior officers of the department at Police Station – Vigilance Bureau, Flying Squad-I, S.A.S. Nagar. He said the public prosecutor contesting the case recorded that Bureau has been investigating illegal allotment of multi crore projects in irrigation department to a few favoured contractors by the concerned officers who have provided them tailor made conditions of contracts and ignored prescribed conditions and flouted all rules/regulations of tenders.
During the probe it was found that the officers had gave extra leverage to the accused Gurinder Singh contractor in allotment of works to the tune of hundreds of crores and caused huge loss to the State exchequer. He informed that after recording the arguments of both the parties the district court has pronounced that custodial interrogation of the accused was very much necessary to ascertain how tailor made conditions suiting only to the contractor were got imposed in number of works. He said while rejecting the urgings of the contractor the trial court has also ordered that bail applicant didn’t deserve the leniency of bail as the investigation agency has to find out how the accused managed to get huge profits out of contacts as well as heavy withdrawals of cash and motive behind clearing the bank lockers after registration of this vigilance case.
The spokesperson informed that the VB teams have conducted searches at various places for investigation purposes as the accused contractor have amassed huge wealth and acquired more than 30 properties worth Rs. 100 crores illegally in Chandigarh, Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala and Noida. He informed that during the year 2006-07, annual turnover of the said contractor was only Rs. 4.74 crores and it swelled to approx. 300 crores by 2016-17. He added that the contractor in conniving with officers of the irrigation department had also compromised with the quality and quantity of material in the works. He added that terms and conditions for e-tendering of works were tailor made so as to eliminate other bidders and to allot the work to Gurinder Singh contractor. Many tenders were allotted to the accused contractor on the basis of single bids and he had charged rates which were excessive and inflated. The spokesperson revealed that in many tenders, dates of tenders were fixed in such a manner to show that it is emergent in nature and were allotted wrongly to the contractor Gurinder Singh. During the investigations it was also found that estimates of works of drainage were not got vetted from the Technical Advisor to then Chief Minister Punjab, and exemptions for this were obtained by submitting wrong facts. It was also found that rates charged by the said contractor for works allotted to him were more than the rates prescribed by the department whereas rates quoted by other contractors have been found to be 20% to 30% less than rates of contractor Gurinder Singh.