Whistle-blower claims the corporation’s personnel are misleading the contract case investigation, writes to MIDC CEO and Superintendent Engineer (Headquarters)
Pipeline work in Navi Mumbai awarded by MIDC to R K Madhani & Co
MIDC officials are trying to mislead an investigation that was ordered following allegations of a tainted BMC contractor getting work with it, the complainant in the case has claimed. The contractor firm in question has refuted the charges and termed the allegations baseless. The whistle-blower wants senior MIDC officials to probe the matter.
Advocate Bhaskar Parab has written a letter to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) CEO and superintendent engineer (SE, Headquarters), urging them to personally conduct an in depth probe against R K Madani & Co, and initiate action against MIDC officials who are trying to mislead the investigation.
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A senior MIDC official confirmed the development. “We have received a letter alleging that our engineers are trying to mislead the investigation. The allegations in the letter are being investigated. It would not be appropriate to comment till the inquiry is completed.”
Parab had raised the red flag on a firm that has been served notice by the BMC has bagged a contract with the MIDC. Last year, in November, mid-day reported about R K Madani & Co bagging a contract worth Rs 185 crore from the MIDC in Navi Mumbai.
After mid-day’s report, MIDC officials ordered an inquiry in the case. But the whistleblower has alleged that a section of MIDC officials are trying to mislead and avoid the inquiry.
‘Not correct information’
Parab, in his letter, has contended MIDC’s executive engineer’s observation, that when R K Madani & Co had applied for the contract, there was no pending action by any government or local body. “I have procured the documents through RTI (Right to Information). In the report engineers have mentioned that action was taken against R K Madani & Co for the period 16/05/2019 to 31/03/2020. Also the result of the show cause notice issued to the private firm was given on 22/10/2021 (after the action period was over). But this is not the correct information. In reality, BMC had initiated action against Madani’s firm for the period 16/05/2016 to 22/03/21 regarding several notices. The civic body had even put a ban on firms from participating in the tendering process till the outcome of the probe and notices issued to them,” he said.
“The BMC issued a show cause notice on 22/03/2017 and the final outcome of the notice was issued on 22/10/2021. The order mentioned that for 3 years the firm cannot participate in any tendering process of the BMC. This effectively means action initiated by BMC against R K Madani & Co was valid till 22/03/2020. Despite pending action, the controversial firm on affidavit gave false undertaking to MIDC and bagged the contract in 2020,” the whistle blower added.
‘Never lied in affidavit’
R K Madani & Co firm refuted all the charges and termed the allegations as baseless. A senior company official stated that they have never lied in any affidavit.
“We have got several other work contracts from BMC after the result of the show cause. Saying a firm was blacklisted or deregistered by the BMC would be a wrong statement to make on the basis of a show cause notice. Also MIDC had crossed checked with the BMC before awarding the work to our company,” the official added.
Further elaborating on the subject, the company official stated that merely issuing show cause notice does not mean one is guilty.
“It is a process where an explanation is sought. Unless the final outcome on the show cause notice issued is not arrived at, one cannot conclude whether a person or firm is guilty. It would be wrong to draw a conclusion merely based on a show cause notice, which is exactly happening with our case,” the official concluded, while explaining their stand on the entire controversy that has allegedly been raked up on a complaint against them by an individual.