The CBI on Tuesday carried out searches at 35 locations in nine cities in connection with alleged irregularities in appointments of persons related to politicians and a retired judge in the Bokaro Steel Plant.
CBI sources in New Delhi said two cases had been registered in Dhanbad naming former executive Jivesh Mishra and seven others as accused while in the second then General Manager A K Narula has been named as accused with 14 others.
The case relates to alleged irregularities in the appointment process in the steel plant in which relatives of two high-profile politicians-a Rajya Sabha candidate and a former governor--and a retired judge were shown favours.
The sources said searches are being carried out at 35-40 locations in nine cities including Ranchi, Bokaro, Patna, Ara, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Delhi and Mumbai.
20 Booked in Bhopal
The CBI also raided the Bhopal residence of senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Satya Narayan Jatiya in connection with the alleged fraudulent recruitment at the Bokaro steel plant.
Besides, similar raids were conducted at various places, including Ranchi, Patna, Bokaro, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and the national capital region (NCR), following which two cases were registered against more than 20 officials of the Bokaro plant and Steel Authority of India Limited.
Jatiya, who is the BJP Rajya Sabha nominee from MP, denied any wrongdoing and said the CBI had only taken away some documents from his house. “I was not questioned by the agency. They wanted some documents and after they got them, they left,” he said.
Despite his public posturing, a tense looking Jatiya rushed to the BJP office soon after the CBI raid and had a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
One of the BJP’s most prominent Scheduled Caste faces, Jatiya had handled the Labour, Social Justice and Empowerment portfolios in the erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA Government from 1999-2004. Interestingly, the Bokaro plant is under the Union Labour Ministry.
Responding to media queries regarding the alleged fraudulent recruitment of his son at the Bokaro plant, Jatiya claimed that due process was followed in his son’s case.
“I had nothing to do with the recruitment of my son. He completed his MBA with good marks and after that he got a job at the plant. When he joined it, neither was the NDA in power, nor was I a minister,” he said.
The CBI believes that the Bokaro plant management had favoured a few candidates, which enabled them to secure jobs in the PSU. “Close to 13 candidates were favoured for posts at the middle and junior management-level by adopting a fraudulent recruitment and selection process,” a CBI official said.