CBI files case against army officers in wheat purchase scam

May 3rd, 2009 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, May 3 (IANS) The anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against some army officers for not awarding a wheat purchase contract to the lowest bidders in 2006-07. Also charged are some flour mill owners.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the CBI, Messrs Kash Ind Roller Mill in Jammu submitted the lowest bid for supply of wheat to Headquarter 15 Corps (Kashmir) while Kissan Flour Mill Jammu filed the lowest rate for 16 Corps (Jammu).

But the contract for the period 2006-07 was awarded to some other mills and not the two lowest bidders. Later both the mills which submitted the lowest bid approached the High Court where after the contract award was stayed.

The CBI report says that Headquarter Northern Command then decided to go in for local purchase of wheat required by the Army for the period August 2006 to March 2008. Later, a board was constituted for this purpose for the period between April 2007 and March 2008 which was violative of the laid down guidelines, CBI contended.

According to the CBI report, the rate up to June-July 2007 for local purchase of wheat was Rs.600,000-700,000 per month per 11.30 tonnes.

But the price shot up three times to Rs.2,200,000 per month per 11.30 tonnes in July 2007 when Lt. Col. Radhakrishnan was appointed Presiding Officer of the Board. These rates continued till March 2008, CBI said in its report.

“Considering the rate of Rs.700,000 per month for the period of seven months from July 2007 to Feburary 2008, total expenditure would have been Rs.57 lakh (Rs.5.7 million) but due to the presiding officer, the rates went up to Rs.1.76 crore (Rs.17.6 million) at Rs.22 lakh (Rs.2.2 million) per month per 11.30 tonnes,” the agency said.

A case has been registered against Lt. Col. Radhakrishnan and at least five other officers in the Northern Command along with two flour mill owners.

Despite repeated attempts, no one at Army Headquarter Northern Command Udhampur was available for comments.

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