Senior BRO officials booked for embezzlement

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked senior officials of the Border Road Organisation’s (BRO) Project Deepak on allegations of embezzlement, an official statement said here Saturday.

One of the accused is currently posted in Project Deepak’s Shimla headquarters as chief engineer.

After conducting raids on their offices and premises here and in Noida in Uttar Pradesh, CBI has registered two FIRs for causing losses to the tune of Rs.2.74 crore to the central government exchequer, said the statement.

The cases have been registered against former chief engineer Brig J.K. Narang, serving chief engineer I.R. Mathur and Lt Col Chanchal Jhamb. Owners of three Delhi-based firms -- Om Enterprises, Krishna Trader and Agency and Aggarwal Enterprises -- were also booked under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

As per the FIR, the BRO officials were involved in criminal conspiracy with the supplier firms and, in violation of the various provisions of general financial rules (GFR), procured several variable messaging systems at exorbitant rates through limited tender, single tenders and thereby caused wrongful loss to the tune of Rs.1.49 crore to the government.

The second case has been registered against Brig Narang, who was earlier posted here as chief engineer, Lt Col Jhamb and Siemens Enterprises Communication Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, on the allegations that the accused public servants procured telephone exchanges in 2009 from the company at a highly exorbitant rate.

During the raids on residential premises of Brig Narang Feb 24, Rs.1.33 lakh cash, more than Rs.30 lakh in bank accounts, Rs.15 lakh in mutual funds and ornaments worth Rs.5 lakh in a locker have been recovered, said the statement.

Documents containing details about four plots, two flats and a two-storied building of valuation of more than Rs.1.50 crore, two cars in the name of the accused and his relatives have been found by the CBI officials, it said.

During the search of premises of Mathur, papers of acquisition of a flat in Noida were seized beside seizure of jewellery worth Rs.6 lakh.

The BRO, an inter-services organisation under the defence ministry, maintains the strategically important highways in the state.

Project Deepak in Himachal Pradesh maintains, among others, the 222-km-long Manali-Leh highway.

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