Tuesday, June 18, 2024
North East

SC notice on plea seeking CBI probe in award of contracts to family members of Arunachal CM

New Delhi, January 29: The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Centre, the Arunachal Pradesh government and others on a PIL seeking a CBI or SIT probe into award of contracts for public works to firms owned by family members of Chief Minister Pema Khandu.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra issued notice to the Union of India, the state government, CBI, Khandu and others on a plea filed by NGOs Save Mon Region Federation and Voluntary Arunachal Sena.
Pema Khandu’s father Dorjee Khandu’s second wife Rinchin Drema and his nephew Tsering Tashi have been made parties in the case. Dorjee Khandu had died in a helicopter crash in 2011 when he was the chief minister.
The plea claimed Rinchin Drema’s firm, Brand Eagles, has been awarded a large number of government contracts despite there being a clear conflict of interest.
“The perusal of the list of contract works settled in favour of family firms, as annexed by the Petitioners herein, shows that it was all done in arbitrary manner by selectively managing the tender in favour of the family firms, as the names of other firms was just cover up for the family firms. The other firms just lent their name to the family firm and got their commission for the same,” the plea filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan said.
The PIL claimed when there is evidence of government contracts being awarded only to the firms of family members of the chief minister and his close associates, then it is reasonable to draw an inference that such favour for government contract works of vast magnitude could not have been possible without direct knowledge, consent, and active support of the minister concerned.
The petition said works for flood damage restoration are allotted by the Department of Relief and Rehabilitation, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
“The Minister of this department was Dorjee Khandu, also former CM, till 2011 and then the charge was taken up by his son Pema Khandu, now present Chief Minister.
“It is a serious cause of concern in view of so many work orders executed by few selective firms belonging to the Minister himself and his family members. This goes against the principles of good governance and transparent administration….,” the plea said. (PTI)