An employee of Tata Motors, Vinay Kumar Singh, knocked on the door of Dhurwa police station in the capital Jharkhand to register an FIR against former minister and legislator from Jamshedpur East Saryu Roy.
This was informed by Singh's counsel Vinod Sahu, saying that the action was taken on the directions of the Jharkhand High Court, which took up the matter in the form of a PIL and allowed Singh to register an FIR. Roy, who defeated then Chief Minister Raghubar Das in the 2019 assembly elections, expressed no surprise at the development. “The whole matter is already in the cognizance of the Anti-Corruption Bureau,” he said when contacted for his comments on the development.
The MLA said that the ACB has written in its report that the petitioner has submitted photocopies related to the case and these must be matched with the originals. He said the departmental inquiry does not indicate a penny loss in the matter. The entire document related to the matter is available with him and can be seen by anyone, Roy added.
Dhurva police station in-charge Vimal Nandan said he would send the FIR to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for investigation. Explaining how the situation arose, Sahu said that former food and civil supplies minister Roy and some of his close associates had committed financial irregularities on a large scale in the name of publishing the official magazine Aahar. Roy selected Jharkhand Printers based on nominations for the publication of the magazine involving more than Rs 15 crore, while as per financial and executive rules of the Jharkhand government, acceptance of tender is necessary for work involving more than Rs 15 crore.
"Rule 245 had to be resorted to relax Rule 235 of the Financial Rules for nomination work." Along with this, the approval of the Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet is also necessary.
Roy did not take either the approval from the finance department or the approval of the cabinet,” said advocate Sahu. Sahu said, “The public relations department works to promote every department of the state government, but Roy used to publish a separate magazine for his department when he was a minister. The sole purpose behind it was to embezzle government funds."
Explaining the modus operandi, the defense counsel said, “To publish the magazine without tendering, the then cabinet minister appointed his assistant Anand Kumar as expert managing editor. Based on a telephonic conversation with Kumar, Jharkhand Printers was directed to print 2,61,793 copies of the magazine every month. When information about this breach started to emerge, a tender was floated in April 2018 to publish the magazine, and the work was again outsourced to the same Jharkhand printers who were already publishing the magazine.”
“Other tendering companies had a lot of experience working in Jharkhand and for the state, while Jharkhand Printers had only three years of experience. Interestingly, Jharkhand Printers talked about the experiences of their work, which they published in a magazine called Yugantar Prakriti. It may be known that the main patron of Yugantar Prakriti is Roy and his assistant Kumar is the editor,” he said.