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Court asks ACB to probe BMC’s e-tender scam

A local court has directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau to conduct a probe into alleged manipulation of electronic tender filing system of the civic body to favour select contractors and submit a report.

Activist Vivekanand Gupta had on September 29 filed a complaint in the court seeking registration of an FIR against 22 employees of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for allegedly manipulating electronic tender filing system to award contracts to certain firms.

“The concerned division of ACB, Mumbai, is hereby directed to carry out investigation (in the tender case) under section 156(3) of Criminal Procedure Code,” Special ACB Judge S V Ranpise said in an order.

Section 156(3) of CrPC empowers a Magistrate to order police probe into cognisable cases. Though the order was passed on November 12, a copy of it was given to Gupta today.

Gupta told that as per various judgements of the Supreme Court, to investigate any offence under this Section, ACB will have to file an FIR. “The FIR has to be filed against the errant officials before starting the probe.”

According to him, he had earlier submitted a complaint to an Additional Municipal Commissioner who forwarded it to test audit and vigilance officers for an inquiry.

According to Gupta, as per the information obtained under Right to Information Act, nine engineers were suspended pending inquiry and 40 contractors blacklisted.

Gupta’s complaint claimed only sub-engineers knew the password to access the e-tender website.

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