“Yes, we have received an e-mail from the ACB regarding furnishing of relevant documents”
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is all set to reportedly raid campus of Central University Jammu and office of its Vice Chancellor on 25th of January in an alleged graft case, official sources told The Typewriter.
According to the official sources, as a part of the ongoing probe into alleged misappropriation of funds and financial irregularities in the CUJ during last five years, ACB is reportedly raiding varsity’s main campus in Samba, as well as, its Temporary Academic Block at Sainik Colony campus Jammu to check and recover documents pertaining to financial transactions in the last five years.
Official sources informed that the investigation has been entrusted to a DySP rank officer in the ACB, following a complaint about alleged irregularities was received.
“University administration has already been informed about the development and have been asked to furnish relevant official records pertaining to utilization of Central Government funds and payments made to the contractors,” said sources.
Sources further asserted that the team will initially focus on the complaints of alleged financial irregularities committed during the period of incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof Ashok Aima.
“The scope of investigation may be expanded if anything relevant to the apparent irregularities are detected during the verification of records or supplement complaints are received,” official sources said and added that Vice Chancellor is expected to be questioned in his office about certain decisions that have been taken ‘arbitrarily’.
Pertinent to mention here that The Typewriter in its report dated 2 August 2020 had provided detailed story about alleged corruption charges against the Vice Chancellor, Prof Ashok Aima.
According to the complainant, the Vice Chancellor of Central University of Jammu has allegedly accepted huge bribe for allowing ‘illegal’ continuation of work even after expiry of the tender period and also released payment of Rs 10 Crore to a contractor.
Instead of inviting fresh tenders, the said contractor was illegally allowed by the Vice Chancellor to continue the allotted work even after lapse of contract period. And despite his best efforts, the said contractor completed merely 33.26% of these electric works as of July 2017
“A huge bounty was shared by the Vice Chancellor for allowing illegal continuation of work and release of payment of Rs 10 crore to M/s Anil Kumar Company even after the expiry of tender period,” read the complaint, adding that all this was done in contrary to the legal opinion.
Complaint further reads that the total contract value of the work was Rs 43.99 crore and it was supposed to be completed by November 2015.
“One M/s Anil Kumar and Company was allotted project for internal and external electrical works (including erect on/commissioning of Electric sub-stations and compact substations) within Central University Campus Jammu with a contract value of Rs. 43.99 crores,” said complainant adding that a legally binding MoU was signed in May 2014 between the successful contractor and CUJ authorities with stipulated completion period of 18 months expiring in Nov, 2015.
Report read, despite lapse of contract in November 2015, the contractor had not completed the allotted work within stipulated time frame.
“Failing to complete the work within the stipulated time period, the contractor invited pecuniary and other legal action as per tender agreement but under the patronage of incumbent Vice Chancellor, neither security of the said contractor was forfeited nor any penal action was initiated against him,” reads complaint copy, adding that the Vice Chancellor also ignored the recommendations made by the then Executive Engineer.
The complainant maintained that instead of initiating action against the contractor, who failed to respect the agreement, he was still allowed by the Vice Chancellor to continue the work, throwing rules and regulations to the air.
“Instead of inviting fresh tenders, the said contractor was illegally allowed by the Vice Chancellor to continue the allotted work even after lapse of contract period. And despite his best efforts, the said contractor completed merely 33.26% of these electric works as of July 2017,” stated the complaint, adding that when such deliberate abetment was pointed out, the University authorities were compelled to approach legal counsel of the University for the opinion on tender conditions and payments.
The legal counsel, after perusing the matter in detail, advised the CUJ not to release any payment in favour of M/S Anil Kumar and Company. He further suggested blacklisting of the said company, forfeiting his security and initiating legal action against the contractor, reads the complaint.
“Rather than paying any heed to the legal opinion of standing counsel, Vice Chancellor tried to hush-up the matter in lieu of Rs 2 Crore from the contractor for not to start legal action as suggested by standing counsel,” reads the complaint, adding that not only this, overlooking the legal advice, Vice Chancellor allegedly manipulated a release of Rs.10.00 crores in favour of the contractor in 2018 from “non-existent revolving fund” without any work.
“The payment in question was vividly illegal, contrary to the tender conditions and without any work on the contract items and proved quid-pro-quo with this ill gotten money,” alleged the complainant.
When contacted Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu, Prof Ashok Aima expressed ignorance about the development and said that he has no knowledge about it.
“You better talk to the Registrar of the University, because such kind of communications regarding raid and furnishing of documents are always addressed to him,” Prof Aima said.
The Registrar of the CUJ-Ravi Kumar, after initial refusal, admitted that they have received an e-mail from the ACB regarding furnishing of documents.
“Yes, we have received an e-mail from the ACB regarding furnishing of relevant documents,” Mr Kumar said and added that he, however has no knowledge about visit of ACB team.