Sarma Denies Role in Scam Involving US Firm

Published: 23rd July 2015 04:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2015 04:23 AM   |  A+A-

GUWAHATI:Even as a probe is on into the Guwahati Water Supply Project bribery scam, the then Assam Minister and Congress stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma has denied any wrongdoing.

“I’ve gone through the copy of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) chargesheet. Nowhere did it mention my name. All it said was about a Goa Minister and officials,” he told reporters here on Wednesday.

Last week, the US  Department of Justice (DoJ) disclosed that the New Jersey-based consulting firm Louis Berger International Inc would pay $17.1-million criminal penalty to resolve charges that it paid bribes to bag government contracts in India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait between 1998 and 2010. The company had allegedly paid `6.1 crore for two water projects in Guwahati and Goa.

Sarma said he had been implicated in the case. “A section of the media here is unnecessarily implicating me in the scam. They had targeted me even in the (multi-crore) Saradha and NC Hills scam. But eventually, I was given a clean chit. A probe, ordered by the state government, is on and I won’t interfere in it. There was no manipulation or favouritism,” he said.

Sarma was Guwahati Development Department (GDD) Minister between 2006 and April 2011. Louis Berger was awarded the consultancy in 2009-10 along with Japanese firm Nihon Psuido and Shah Technical Consultants. The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), which is under the GDD, is handling the project.

“The files date back to just three to four years. How can they get lost? Let me also assert that I didn’t have any connection whatsoever with GMDA files. My connection was with government files,” Sarma said while responding to reports that the files have gone missing.

“There cannot be any discrepancies in the files I had gone though. I don’t know if a different set of files were passed on to me after manipulation at the lower level,” he said.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp