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ED makes first arrest in Rajasthan Jal Jeevan Mission 'scam' case

The suspects were also involved in the purchase of 'stolen' goods from Haryana for using the same in their tenders/contracts and had also submitted 'fake' work completion letters from IRCON to get PHED contracts, the agency alleged.
Last Updated 01 March 2024, 13:56 IST

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it has arrested a man named Piyush Jain in connection with its money laundering investigation linked to alleged irregularities in the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in Rajasthan.

Piyush Jain was arrested on Thursday and a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Jaipur sent him to four days of ED custody, the federal agency said.

This is the first arrest by the ED in this case.

The money laundering case of the ED stems from an FIR registered by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) where it was charged that Padamchand Jain (proprietor of Shree Shyam Tubewell Company), Mahesh Mittal (proprietor of Shree Ganpati Tubewell Company), Piyush Jain and others were 'involved in giving bribes to public servants in order to obtain illegal protection, tenders, getting bills sanctioned and covering up irregularities for work executed by them in respect of various tenders received by them from the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED)'.

The suspects were also involved in the purchase of 'stolen' goods from Haryana for using the same in their tenders/contracts and had also submitted 'fake' work completion letters from IRCON to get PHED contracts, the agency alleged.

Piyush Jain, it said, was 'managing' the affairs of these accused firms and was also in receipt of about Rs 3.5 crore which were nothing but the proceeds of crime in this case.

CDR (call data record) analysis of Piyush Jain's mobile found that he was also 'influencing' officials of the PHED, the agency claimed.

Several summons were issued to Piyush Jain but he did not join the investigation, it said.

ED added that its probe showed that Padamchand Jain and Mahesh Mittal were involved in securing tenders pertaining to JJM works based on 'purported fake work completion certificates issued by IRCON and by bribing senior PHED officials.' Several middle men and property dealers have aided the PHED officials in siphoning off the illegally earned money from the JJM scam, it alleged.

The Jal Jeevan mission launched by the Union government aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through household tap connections and it was being implemented in Rajasthan by the state's PHE department.

Premises in Jaipur and Dausa, including the residential and official premises of senior PHE department officials and IAS officer and the then additional chief secretary Subodh Agarwal, were searched by the ED last year.

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(Published 01 March 2024, 13:56 IST)

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