CBI Conducts Extensive Raids on Ex-J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s Premises in Corruption Probe

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  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched searches at 30 locations associated with former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik.
  • The probe revolves around purported irregularities in the awarding of civil works contracts for the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP), valued at ₹2,200 crore.
  • Satya Pal Malik served as governor of Jammu and Kashmir from August 23, 2018, to October 30, 2019.
  • During its previous operations, the CBI seized various incriminating materials, including digital devices, computers, property documents, and cash exceeding ₹21 lakh.
  • Mr. Malik issued a statement decrying the raids as an act of authoritarianism.

In a sweeping operation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched searches at 30 locations associated with former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik. This development is part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the Kiru Hydropower project. With a team of approximately 100 officers deployed, the agency commenced its probe early in the morning, targeting multiple cities where Mr. Malik is believed to have connections.

The probe revolves around purported irregularities in the awarding of civil works contracts for the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP), valued at ₹2,200 crore. The CBI initiated its inquiry in April 2022, registering a case against five individuals, including Mr. Malik, regarding suspected malfeasance in the tendering process for the project.

Satya Pal Malik, who served as governor of Jammu and Kashmir from August 23, 2018, to October 30, 2019, has been embroiled in controversy since allegations surfaced that he was offered a staggering ₹300-crore bribe to expedite the approval of certain project-related documents. Despite being hospitalized in recent days, Mr. Malik issued a statement decrying the raids as an act of authoritarianism. He asserted his resilience, proclaiming solidarity with farmers and reaffirming that such actions would not intimidate him.

The CBI’s investigation has also ensnared other notable figures, including former chairman of the Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd, Navin Kumar Chaudhary, along with former officials M S Babu, M K Mittal, and Arun Kumar Mishra, as well as Patel Engineering Ltd. The FIR alleges discrepancies in the implementation of decisions made during the board meetings of CVPPPL, leading to the awarding of contracts to Patel Engineering Ltd despite previous directives for re-tendering.

This latest series of raids follows earlier searches conducted by the CBI at five locations in January, underscoring the agency’s concerted effort to unravel the complexities of the case. The Kiru project, a 624-megawatt run-of-river scheme situated on the Chenab river in Kishtwar district, has been a focal point of scrutiny.

During its previous operations, the CBI seized various incriminating materials, including digital devices, computers, property documents, and cash exceeding ₹21 lakh.

The outcome of the CBI’s probe into the affairs of former Governor Satya Pal Malik and others implicated in the case is awaited with keen interest, bearing significant implications for the integrity of governance and accountability in Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from agencies)

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