CBI cracks down on NEERI in 4 states, files 3 cases

Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) In a major crackdown, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has raided 17 locations in 4 states in connection with alleged corruption against officials of the prestigious National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur, officials said here on Wednesday.

Following a complaint filed by the Chief Vigilance Officer, CSIR, New Delhi against 10 persons including former scientists and senior officials, the CBI registered three separate cases.

The raids were carried out at 17 locations in Maharashtra, New Delhi, Haryana and Bihar, from where the CBI recovered incriminating documents, property-related papers, jewellery and other things, said the central probe agency.

In the first case, the CBI has named: Dr Rakesh Kumar, the then Director of CSIR- NEERI, Nagpur; Dr. Atya Kapley, ex-Senior Scientist & Head, Director’s Research Cell; entities Alaknanda Technologies Pvt Ltd., in Navi Mumbai; Enviro Policy Research India Pvt Ltd., Thane; and Emergy Enviro Pvt Ltd., IIT-Bombay at Powai in Mumbai.

The two accused allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with the private firms to set up a cartel with collusive bidding, splitting of tenders/works in return for undue advantage, and nepotism, whereby the NEERI’s contracts were mostly awarded to the Powai-based unit.

For the second case, the CBI has named: Dr Rakesh Kumar, the then Director, NEERI, Nagpur; Dr. Ritesh Vijay, the then Principal Scientist; and Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council-India (WTERT- India), Dadar in Mumbai.

The accused individuals and the entity allegedly connived to get favours from the company in 2018-2019 which was selected arbitrarily without the consent of the CSIR top authorities, and Dr. Kumar was having associated with the company in 2015-2016.

In the third case, the CBI has named: Dr. Sunil Gulia, the then Scientist Fellow of Delhi Zonal Centre, NEERI and later at Nagpur; Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Goyal, the then Senior Principal Scientist; and two entities – ESS Environment Consultants Private Limited (EECPL); and Alaknanda Technologies Private Limited (ATPL), in Navi Mumbai/Thane.

They allegedly hatched a criminal conspiracy for major irregularities in procurement, fabrication, supply, installation and commissioning of WAYU-II devices, a patented-proprietary property of NEERI, with attempts to create a monopoly for the two companies, bypassing norms, etc. for undue advantage.

The CBI said it is continuing investigations into the cases involving allegations of malpractices and corruption against the concerned individuals and companies.

–IANS

qn/dan

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