|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Aug 26: The Jammu and Kashmir crime branch has registered a case and begun probe into the supply of hand-held e-challan devices to the traffic police at a cost 14 times higher than the market price.
The FIR was registered against unidentified officials of the state police and Jammu and Kashmir Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (SICOP) for alleged fraud in the supply of 30 hand-held e-challan system, a crime branch official said.
According to the official, some officials of SICOP and the state police headquarters were allegedly involved in the manipulation of the relevant tender and thereby causing a huge loss to the exchequer.
The tender for purchase of the devices was issued in 2016. SICOP emerged as the lowest bidder and agreed to supply the equipment from a Noida-based company at a cost of Rs 20,100 per piece.
However, after the purchase order was issued by the police headquarters in March last year, the tender formalities were changed and the machines were purchased from a Hyderabad-based company at a cost of Rs 2,21,350 per piece.
An internal inquiry showed that the tender conditions were violated by changing the vendor without any authorisation.
According to the FIR, SICOP had claimed that the Noida-based vendor had refused to supply the e-challan machines to the Jammu and Kashmir Police, but during preliminary inquiry it was found that the company had written no such letter.
The crime branch official said the devices supplied by the Hyderabad-based firm to SICOP costs only Rs 27,500 per piece, but it was billed to police at Rs 2,21,350 per piece.
It is alleged that the supplier in connivance with some officials of SICOP and the state police has manipulated the process and supplied the equipment at 14 times higher the price.
The crime branch, which registered the case in Jammu, has seized files and tendering documents regarding the case and has called officials of the two private firms.