CBI books MEIL — second biggest electoral bond donor — for corruption in ₹315 crore NISP project

Megha Engineering was the second-largest buyer of electoral bonds according to the published details of buyers and beneficiaries released by the Election Commission of India (ECI) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 13, 2024 | 8:44 PMUpdatedApr 13, 2024 | 8:44 PM


The CBI, it has come to light on Saturday, 13 April, has registered a case against Hyderabad-based infrastructure major Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL). MEIL is the second biggest electoral bond donor as per SBI’s records published by ECI under Supreme Court’s order.

CBI also booked eight officers from the NMDC’s Iron and Steel plant, Ministry of Steel, on charges of corruption in the execution of ₹315 crore project for NISP.

In the FIR dated 31 March 2024, CBI said that the crime involved criminal conspiracy, forgery, bribing of public servants, bribing persons to influence public into receiving bribes.

The company, promoted by Pamireddy Pichi Reddy and PV Krishna Reddy, purchased bonds worth ₹966 crore, of which the highest donation went to BJP.

MEIL donated about ₹584 crore to BJP via electoral bonds. ₹195 crore was donated to BRS and ₹85 crore went to DMK. Others who encashed the electoral bonds donated by MEIL were YSRCP, TDP, Congress, Janta Dal (United), Janata Dal (Secular) and Jana Sena Party.

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The allegations

Though the CBI registered the FIR (RC-1242024A0002) in Raipur district on 31 March, 2024, it came to light only on Saturday, 13 April.

The CBI invoked sections under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, as amended in 2018 and the IPC.

The complainant was CBI deputy superintendent of police Arjun Vasant Pawar, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. His complaint was addressed to the CBI Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Raipur.

CBI has named Dilip Kumar Mohanty, director, MDC/NSIP; Pradeep Kumar Bhuyan, DGM, NISP, Ministry of Steel, Bastar Chhattisgarh; Naresh Babu, Dy Manager (Survey) NISP and Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL), Hyderabad.

The FIR said that Arujun Vasant Pawar, in his complainant dated 18 March, 2024, has alleged that eight officials of the NISP/NMDC and two officials of the MECON Ltd, received bribe against payment by the MNDC to MEIL.

The complaint said that the package17-02 (works of Intake Well and Pump House, DWTP and cross Country Pipeline including five year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract of the NMDC Iron and Steel Plant Limited (NISP) was awarded to MEIL.

It is further alleged that Subhash Chandra, GM, Projects, MEIL has paid money to Prakash Dash, former ED, NISP for getting an official favour.

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Contract terms, alleged payments

The preliminary inquiry revealed that contract between NMDC, Hyderabad and consortium comprising MEIL and Koya and Company Construction, was executed on 23 January, 2015 for Intake Well and Pump House and Cross Country Pipeline System (Package No:017-02) and 3.0 MTPA Integrated Steel Plant at Nagarnar, Jagadalpur (Chhattisgarh).

Ch P Subbaiah, Director, MEIL, TK Saleem, ED, KCCL and KM Satheesh Kumar, ED, were the signatories of the contract dated 23 January 2015.

In accordance with the agreement, contract value of ₹314.57 crore was decided for executing the work.

Inquiry further disclosed that the effective date of contract was decided as 20 January,2015 and project would be commissioned in 24 months.

It was also decided that after the completion of the project, there would be O&M of the project by MEIL for a period of five years. The cost of O&M was also decided in the contract agreement, which is part of total contract of ₹314.57 crore.

The CBI concluded that eight officials of the NISP/NMDC received a payment of ₹73,85,517, and two officials of MECON received ₹5,01,735 as against the payment of ₹174,41,28,492 by the NMDC to the MEIL against 73 invoices from Subhas Chandra Sangras, GM, MEIL and others, whose names the CBI said were not yet known.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)