A special court in West Tripura has yesterday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Yashpal Singh, former State Chief Secretary on Thursday in the multi-crore rupees PWD scam. Furthermore, Judge Gobinda Das gave permission to the Police to conduct searches at Singh’s residence at Gurugram, Haryana.
Public prosecutor Ratan Dutta had moved an application seeking a non-bailable arrest warrant against Singh and permission for a search operation at his home, both of which was granted by the district and session court. As per reports, the DSP of the crime branch of Tripura Police is proceeding to Delhi to conduct the search operation with the help of the Delhi Police.
On Monday night, CPI(M) central committee member Badal Choudhury was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Rs 630 crore scam that allegedly occurred during his tenure as PWD Minister. Choudhury was admitted to a hospital where he was said to be in critical condition. The Police said that he would be taken into custody after he recovers.
Earlier, Yashpal Singh and former engineer-in-chief of PWD Sunil Bhowmik were charged with corruption, cheating, criminal breach of trust, causing the disappearance of evidence and others under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Sunil Bowmik too has been arrested.
Law and Education Minister in the state, Ratan Lal Nath, has claimed that the PWD under the previous Left Front government in 2008-09 clubbed 13 projects, five bridges, five buildings and three road projects, and implemented them at a cost of Rs 638 crore on a cost-plus basis (limited up to a maximum of 10 per cent of the esteemed cost). Nath asserted that a total of Rs 228 crore had been siphoned off and called it the “biggest scam in the history of Tripura”.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said in the Assembly, “Nearly Rs. 225 crores were spent in addition to the amount approved by the state cabinet on different infrastructure development schemes in the 2008-09 financial year. The then cabinet note on the said subject and note of the then Principal Secretary don’t match. We have started a vigilance investigation after these irregularities came to our notice”.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, lawyers representing Badal Choudhury sought an ‘urgent hearing’ for bail considering his ‘fragile health’ but the Court declined their request and fixed October 30 as the next date of the hearing.