It’s been over a month since Computer Emergency Response Team, which falls under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, had collected evidence in connection with the e-tendering scam, but is yet to submit its report.
The delay in the submission of the report has primarily disabled the Economic Offence Wing of MP police to lodge an FIR in connection with the alleged scam.
Ahead of the assembly elections in November, the Congress had alleged a Rs 8,935.61 crore scam in the allotment of e-tendering contracts under the BJP’s watch in Madhya Pradesh, affirming that the party will dig deep into the “roots of the scam” and book its perpetrators.
Earlier, Digvijaya Singh had alleged that the Modi government “would not allow” the report to be made public as it indicts former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his ministers. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had also alleged “massive anomalies in the e-tendering process”.
Interestingly, the EOW had registered a preliminary enquiry into the matter on May 16, 2018, but the CERT, which deals with the cyber fraud cases, finally landed in Bhopal on December 7, 2018 after the elections took place. It then compiled the ‘forensic images’ from various government departments.
On December 17, the day when Kamal Nath assumed office as the chief minister, the EOW wrote to CERT seeking an early report on the forensic tests. The central agency is yet to hand over a report to EOW.
E-tendering is done through an e-procurement portal which is taken care by the state Electronics Development Corporation, the EOW informed the CERT adding the Data Server is based at State Data Centre in Bhopal.
“Some contractors and bureaucrats were found guilty prima facie. Some officers even tried to misplace the records,” PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma told News18.
Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has denied to comment on the issue. However, former home minister Bhupendra Singh said, “The BJP did the right thing by switching e-tendering and if the present government thinks anomalies happened, it should get them probed and initiate action.”
The CERT had seized data stored in 11 hard disks at the Electronics Development Corporation. As many as nine e-tenders are under the scanner and they were revoked by then Shivraj government.
“I have serious doubts that CERT hasn’t furnished its report in the last seven months. Officers have been asked to camp in CERT and get the report at the earliest so that the mystery is unraveled at the earliest,” said CM Kamal Nath.
However, BJP spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri claimed that the Congress government hasn’t acted on the probe after coming to power.
“May be its CERT or any other institution, it functions on its own independently and at times its decision isn’t favourable for the government but they are doing their job,” Shastri said.