Serious allegations of misappropriation of crores of rupees in the name of procurement of software and generator sets by NRC system integrator Wipro Limited and then-NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela have been raised by Assam Public Works (APW), the main petitioner in the Supreme Court for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
The APW had earlier filed five FIRs regarding the alleged financial scams, while the sixth FIR was submitted to the CBI, anti-corruption branch, in Guwahati on May 18.
APW president Aabhijeet Sharma said, “We are ready to file 22 FIRs in various investigating agencies against the then-State Coordinator, NRC, Assam, Prateek Hajela, and his close aides regarding misappropriation of public money of NRC in Assam.”
He added that no tangible progress in investigation has been noticed in case of the previous FIRs.
In the latest FIR, the APW has alleged that Wirpo Ltd, one of the prime software installation company in the NRC process, had submitted a bill of Rs 1.27 crore for procurement of ‘Oracle Standard One Edition’ and ‘Oracle Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition’, the amount of which was paid during February, 2017 to August, 2017.
“However, as per the ground report of National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG) submitted to Office of the Accountant General (AUDIT), Assam, no such system was installed and used for the updation of NRC in Assam. The amount was cleared by the ex-NRC State Coordinator of Assam, by indulging in conspiracy and mutual understanding with Wipro Limited as revealed from the report,” the APW claimed in the FIR.
In another alleged irregularity mentioned in the same FIR, the APW has pointed that Wipro Limited had submitted a bill for procurement of 1-2 KVA sets of generators for installation at 2500 NSKs around the state, each amounting to Rs 93,964 and, accordingly, Rs 34.76 crore was released to the company for installation of 3700 generators.
“However, on field enquiry the auditor at some NSKs came to know that the generators were not purchased but hired and moreover, the market price of the hired generators are also not Rs 93,964 as submitted in bill, but is Rs 35,000 each which clearly indicates the involvement of the then State Coordinator, NRC with Wipro Limited causing huge amount of loss to government exchequer,” the FIR further claimed.
Hajela, an Indian Administrative Service officer, was the state coordinator for NRC updating, and was transferred to Madhya Pradesh in November last year as per an order of the Supreme Court.
The updated and final NRC for Assam was published on August 31, 2019.