Haryana: WhatsApp chats nail officials in Rs 100 cr cooperative scam : The Tribune India

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Haryana: WhatsApp chats nail officials in Rs 100 cr cooperative scam

Reveal bank accounts through which bribes for officials were routed

Haryana: WhatsApp chats nail officials in Rs 100 cr cooperative scam


Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, February 6

Fresh revelations in the “Rs 100 crore” Cooperation Department scam point out how officials shared bank account details in WhatsApp chats with kingpin Stalian Jeet, a contractor, for routing bribes running in lakhs through several intermediaries.

Meanwhile, the Cooperation Department has suspended all officials who have been arrested under the 10 FIRs registered so far and has moved the case for dismissing three officers under Article 311 (2) (b).

As per FIR No. 3 of January 31 in Karnal, the then District Registrar Cooperative Societies (DRCS), Karnal, Rohit Gupta, received Rs 11 lakh from Stalian Jeet, who is a director of Banbridge Constructions Pvt Ltd, Bantam Overseas Pvt Ltd, Bantam India Limited, Loadlink Systems Pvt Ltd, Laybay India Limited and proprietor of Fresh Khata, in 2022, for allegedly helping in getting government contracts in Karnal and Panipat.

Arrested officials suspended

The Cooperation Department has suspended all officials arrested under the 10 FIRs registered so far. The department has moved the case for dismissing three officers under Article 311 (2) (b)

Gupta allegedly provided bank accounts to Stalian Jeet on WhatsApp to which payments were made through his different firms. One of the contracts was for providing 50 Sony LEDs.

The Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies (ARCS) Anu Kaushish, another kingpin in the scam, allegedly mediated for the payment of solar panels at Gupta’s house, as per her WhatsApp chat, says the FIR. Stalian Jeet had also written down details of payments to officials made through cheques, which is cited as evidence.

As per FIR No. 4 of January 31 in Karnal, then ARCS-cum-General Manager (GM), Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP), Panipat, Ram Kumar, received Rs 16.78 lakh in 2022. Material worth crores was bought from firms of Stalian Jeet under ICDP and a bribe was paid for that, says the FIR.

The FIR No. 5 of January 31 in Karnal details the payment of Rs 5,000 to the then Audit Officer Cooperative Societies (AOCS), Karnal, Balwinder Singh, in 2022.

The FIR No. 5 of January 31 in Ambala revealed payments of Rs 10.5 lakh to the then GM ICDP, Kaithal, Krishan Chand Beniwal, in 2022 from Stalian Jeet. Besides the WhatsApp chat, handwritten details of payments through cheques by Stalian Jeet to Beniwal are the evidence cited. Another GM, ICDP, Kaithal, Jitender Kaushik, receiving Rs 12.30 lakh in 2021 and 2022 has been cited in FIR No. 6 of January 31 in Ambala. Here money was allegedly routed to Kaushik through several people, including three officials, posted with the ICDP, Kaithal.

Then GM, Central Cooperative Bank, Kaithal, Sanjay Hooda, received Rs 99,999, allegedly as a bribe for works executed under the bank in 2022, says the FIR No. 7 of January 31 in Ambala. He too shared the details of bank accounts through the WhatsApp chats.

The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) had sanctioned money under the ICDP for the development of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS). Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigations started from Rewari. In 2017-18 to 2020-21, Rs 15.67 crore was spent and contracts were given to Stalian Jeet. Firms that were hired in violation of rules paid kickbacks to then GM, ICDP, Rewari, Anu Kaushish, and her family worth Rs 55.30 lakh, reveals FIR No. 21 of 2023 in Gurugram. Other officials also received money from the firms.

Deputy Chief Auditor Yogendra Aggarwal bought two flats, worth Rs 43.08 lakh and Rs 45.50 lakh, after diverting money from the ICDP, Rewari, as per two more FIRs in Gurugram.

Money received in kickbacks was allegedly used to buy land worth Rs 1.22 crore in Sirsa for Kaushish and a plot for Ram Kumar in Kurukshetra worth Rs 60 lakh, according to FIR No. 29 of 2023. Investigations in Rewari led to revelation of similar modus operandi in other districts.

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