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Congress demands CBI probe into dealings of an Adani firm

DRI report say it sold electrical equipment to Indian counterpart at 860% higher value than original

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Ajay Maken, Congress spokesperson
Ajay Maken, Congress spokesperson, said: "With the change of the guard at the Centre, the BJP-led NDA government decided to go slow on this important matter. As a result, till today, the investigation has not reached its logical end."

The on Friday said an investigation into the alleged over-invoicing of for the power sector by a subsidiary of the Group “has been languishing in protracted legal proceedings since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power” at the Centre.

spokesperson (pictured) had on February 5, 2013, said that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance-2 government had initiated a probe into the practice of over-invoicing on import of electrical equipment/machine by a subsidiary of the Enterprises.

Maken had said the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), after investigations, issued a 97-page show cause notice on May 15, 2014, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Enterprises. “Investigating this practice is critical as the price of this equipment has a direct bearing on the price paid by the common man for electricity,” he said.

The said the report contains crucial allegations that the Group utilised a network of off-shore companies to purchase and then sell it to the Indian counterpart at a much inflated value, as high as about 860 per cent of the original. Speaking for the Group, its spokesperson “strongly” denied “the motivated statements and reports, which are brought out to create sensationalism.” “Group is aware of the investigations being conducted by the DRI, and has fully cooperated, and shall continue to cooperate with the investigating agencies,” the spokesperson said.

However, Maken said, how “with the change of the guard at the Centre, the BJP-led NDA government decided to go slow on this important matter. As a result, till today, the investigation has not reached its logical end. Moreover, Gautam Adani, chief of Group, an accused in this ongoing investigation, is often seen accompanying Prime Minister Modi, on various foreign tours.”

He said the PM, in his Independence Day address to the nation on Tuesday, laid special emphasis on the role of shell companies which divert funds. “It is time that strong words were followed by strong action. It is time that the demonstrates its words are not just rhetoric or jumlas on paper,” Maken said.

The Group spokesperson said the fact that Group’s projects “have incurred the lowest cost across central, state, and private utility players has gone to establish the robustness of the processes followed by our group.” Cong demands CBI probe into dealings of an firm

“As a responsible corporate citizen, all our transactions are always conducted within the framework of extant regulatory guidelines and provisions. It is a standard procedure for the Group to follow International Competitive Bidding (ICD) route for major capital expenditures to ensure transparency and competitiveness in the process,” the spokesperson said.

According to the party, the file, compiled in 2014, maps out a complex money trail from India through South Korea and Dubai, and eventually to an offshore company in Mauritius, allegedly controlled by Vinod Shantilal Adani, the older brother of the billionaire Group chief executive, Gautam

“In other words, the DRI’s findings hold the Group and its shell companies responsible for bogusly overpricing the import of electricity generating and inflating its cost to up to 860 per cent more than its actual purchase value for an electricity project in Maharashtra using a front company in Dubai,” it said.

Maken said the Centre should immediately order a CBI investigation monitored by a judge of the Supreme Court into the alleged corrupt practices of over-invoicing, which in turn lead to grossly inflated prices for the public. “The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) shall exercise its powers under Section 79 of the Electricity Act, 2003, to conduct investigation and reopen the affairs of all private power generating entities to identify all such cases of fake over-pricing of all such equipment, and further bring down electricity tariff in the country,” he said.

The party shall pursue this matter to the fullest extent by also filing a petition before the CERC utilising the data available in the public domain.

First Published: Sat, August 19 2017. 00:41 IST