BHOPAL: A day after booking unknown directors of seven companies, heads and staff of five government departments, besides bureaucrats and politicians in connection with the Rs 3000 crore E-Tendering scam which happened during Shivraj Singh Chouhan regime, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Madhya Pradesh arrested on Thursday three software professionals from Bhopal.
Three software professionals, identified as Vinay Chaudhary, Varun Chaturvedi and Sumit Golwarkar, who run joint venture company Osmo IT Solutions in Mansarovar Complex in Bhopal were arrested on Thursday. They are directors and sales heads of the company.
According to key sources in the EOW, the IP addresses of the systems that were used were used to breach e-tendering software of the MP State Electronic Development Corporation (MPSEDC) have been traced to the desktop computers and cell-phones of the Bhopal-based company and its directors.
The EOW also conducted raids at the company’s Mansarovar complex office and the sleuths are believed to have seized incriminating material, including computer hard disc, server and other related equipment. The seized equipment will be sent to digital forensic labs in New Delhi and Hyderabad for further probe. The sleuths probing the high-profile case are also taking hash value of computers from the office of the company raided on Wednesday.
Also, the EOW probe into the scam will no longer be confined to the three months period (January 2018 to March 2018), but will investigate entire government tendering process since 2016, which could make the alleged fraud figure jump many more times than the present Rs 3000 crore.
On Wednesday, the EOW had registered an FIR into the alleged Rs 3,000 crores E-tendering scam which happened between January 2018 and March 2018 – when the state was ruled by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government.
The development came three days after the pre-dawn Income Tax department searches at the premises of close aides and relatives of MP CM Kamal Nath in Indore, Bhopal, Goa and NCR, which had triggered war of words between the Congress-ruled MP and BJP ruled centre.
The FIR has been registered under Sections 120-B. 420, 468, 471 of IPC, besides Section 66 of IT Act and Section 7 (to be read with) Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against unidentified directors and marketing heads of Hyderabad, Baroda, Mumbai and Bhopal headquartered companies, besides a Bhopal based company which was tasked with developing e-processes (digital signature certificates for opening the bids/tenders).
The unidentified accused in the FIR also includes officials and staff of five state government departments, besides unknown bureaucrats and politicians who would have played key role in the alleged fraud between January 2018 and March 2018.
For making the tendering process of various departments of MP government online, the MP State Electronic Development Corporation (MPSEDC) had developed MP e-tendering portal. In this portal, all departments uploaded their tender notices in response to which different companies submitted their bids.
In March 2018, it came to the fore that price bids of nine tenders of five state government departments were tampered to help some companies to revise their price bids for getting the contracts for which tenders were floated by the concerned departments. The nine tenders, included three tenders of Jal Nigam, two tenders of Public Works Department, one of Project Implementation Unit (PIU), two of Water Resources Department and one of MP Road Development Corporation.