Probe ordered into number plates tender scam

A special anti-corruption court directed the director-general to initiate an inquiry into the ppossible corruption in the croll tender for high security number plates. The court directed the DG to make an SP-rank official the investigation officer in the case. The court has directed to complete the investigation into the matter and present the report in the court on April 21.

The case was filed on February 10 in the special court (anti-corruption) against former transport minister Yunus Khan and 10 others alleging irregularities in awarding the tender for making high security number plates. The case was filed by advocate Ajay Kumar Jain on behalf of Chandra Bihari Sharma, who has alleged that the previous Vasundhara Raje government had deliberately passed the tender of Shimnit Utsch India Pvt Ltd.

"The complainant provided the court many evidences including the bills showing that such number plate can be procured at a cost of Rs 250-400. But the tender was given at the rate of over Rs 1,000 per number plate," claimed Jain. Owner of the firm Nitin Shah, director Manoj Patel, Deepak Chopra, who is BJP leader L K Advani's personal secretary, and former transport secretary S N Thanvi have been cited in the case.

"While the number plates were provided at the rate of Rs 431 in West Bengal, the same were quoted at Rs 1,100 by Shah and still, the former government passed his tender,'' Jain contended, alleging that Shah was to sign similar agreements with other BJP-ruled states too.

The contract estimated to be worth around Rs 400 crore was contested by rival bidders in Rajasthan High Court. Chopra had also requested the court to terminate the agreement filed by the former government with Shimnit Utsch as Shah has been sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case. "The Goa government had terminated its agreement on this basis. Though he has appealed in the Supreme Court, he stands convicted as on date,'' Jain added.

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