NEW DELHI:The CBI has registered a case against senior Congress leader and former Union Textile Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela and six others, including the then Chairman-cum-Managing Director of National Textile Corporation, for allegedly causing a loss of `709.27 crore to the government through irregular transfer of a mill land in Mumbai to a private developer.
“The FIR has been registered against Vaghela, former NTC CMD Ramachandran Pillai, former Director (Technical) NTC R K Sharma, former Senior Manager (Legal) NTC M K Khare and director of a Kolkata-based private company Hall and Anderson Ltd Kamlesh Mehta,” said a senior CBI officer.
The case has also been registered against other unknown people involved in the scam. Soon after registering the case under charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act, the sleuths conducted raids at nine locations in four cities -- New Delhi, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Mumbai and Kolkata.
The premier investigating agency conducted raids on the residence and office of Vaghela in Gandhinagar and three places in Mumbai. The sleuths have also raided the office of Kolkata-based private company. “The raids were conducted at the official and residential premises of the accused. We have recovered `13.33 lakh each from the residents of Vaghela and Pillai,” the officer said.
According to CBI officials, Pillai, who chaired the assets sales committee, had allegedly changed its stand regularly on the present norms while selling NTC property to private companies.
Sources said during the raids, important official documents were recovered relating to the irregular deal concerning the NTC land. According to the sources, a special team comprising 25 members from Mumbai arrived at Vaghela’s Gandhinagar residence at 11 am and grilled him for more than five hours. The FIR comes after over a year-long preliminary enquiry into the matter, sources said.
“It was alleged that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy and transferred the land at Mumbai owned by National Textile Corporation to a Kolkata based private firm in a wrongful manner, for a total consideration of `29.35 crore (approx), whereas the actual value of the land was much higher,” the officer said.