December 17, 2016 12:04:05 am
A CALCUTTA High Court-appointed committee on Friday inspected the Jessop factory at Dum Dum in Kolkata on Friday.
Two days after Ruia Group Chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia was arrested in a case of misappropriation of equipment belonging to the Railways Ministry, the HC had on Monday set up a committee to inspect Jessop and make an inventory of the properties currently present in its premises. In a complaint, the ministry had alleged that while Jessop was given a contract worth Rs 50 crore to manufacture wagons and rakes, the same was neither completed nor the raw materials returned.
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On Friday, a team comprising Rail Director (Iron and Steel) Ashok Kumar, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) DGM Pramod Khunduri, four CID officials led by Special Superintendent Subhankar Bhattacharya, Barrackpore Sub-Divisional Magistrate Piyush Kanti Goswami and officers from the Dum Dum police station visited Jessop. However, officials from Jessop’s management gave the inspection a miss.
The team, which has to submit a report to the HC on December 19, found equipment and machineries worth crores of rupees being reduced to scrap at the factory. A few rakes, almost finished, had developed rust.
“Railways had given a contract of Rs 50 crore to Jessop. Out of this, Rs 5 crore was given in cash and Rs 10 crore in the form of materials.
As part of the contract, raw material worth Rs 35 crore was to be provided by BHEL on behalf of the Railways. All raw materials provided by BHEL are either missing or have been reduced to scrap… While the Railways has found some materials like sheet piece and wires missing, a few rakes and wheels can still be salvaged,” said an official.
“BHEL and Railways will make a list of the equipment, raw materials and machineries still present inside the factory premises… These will be then taken into custody,” said the official added.
“As per the high court’s order, we are here to do a joint inspection. We will submit all details in the court on December 19. We will also mention that no representative from Jessop’s management was a part of the visit,” said Special Superintendent (CID) Subhankar Bhattacharya.
Earlier, Ruia’s counsel in HC had argued that Jessop had approached the Railways to collect the equipment from the factory, but it was not done. On November 7, Railways had sent a letter, which was not addressed to Jessop, but to Pawan Kumar Ruia, accusing him of cheating and fraud, the counsel had claimed.
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