CBI books top NHAI officials for graft

Chief GM & a GM of NHAI were among 4 booked by CBI for criminal conspiracy & corruption.

Updated: May 25, 2010, 21:29 PM IST

New Delhi: The chief general manager and a general manager of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) were among four people booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday in a case of criminal conspiracy and corruption.

In a statement, CBI identified those booked as NHAI chief general manager S.K. Nirmal, general manager Nitin Jain, and managing director of a Delhi-based construction company Oriental Structural Engineers Private Limited, K.S.Bakshi and its executive S.K. Dixit.

"The modus operandi of NHAI officials was to eliminate all potential contenders on one pretext or the other and favour the accused company ensuring huge financial gains to it," it said.

The NHAI officials allegedly conspired with the company and unduly awarded a contract for a project of development and operation of four-laning of a national highway.

"The NHAI had received 13 offers for the project, out of which four were rejected by the officials on frivolous grounds at qualification stage only," the CBI said.

"Later, four other companies were eliminated from next stage of bidding by making stipulations pertaining to submission of original documents in gross violation of the conditions of the tender," it added.

The investigating agency said the officials allegedly used to share key confidential, strategic and vital information with the employees of the construction company during the tendering process.

"They also facilitated the calculation of annuity by applying financial parameters on the upper side to enable the accused company to fetch huge pecuniary benefits in the aforesaid award of the contract," it added.

A CBI official said searches were conducted at eight places, including residential and official premises of the officials and the private company.

He said Rs.4,600,000 in cash and documents of one flat each in Gurgaon, Jaipur and Delhi have been recovered from one NHAI official, while Rs.1 crore, fixed deposits worth Rs.3,946,000 and documents of two flats and one plot of land in Jaipur have been seized from the other official.