City police to serve notice to Tarun Gogoi for alleged fraud and criminal conspiracy

Guwahati, October 11: Trouble in the guise of “police notice” is expected to wait for former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi when he returns from the United Kingdom.

Gogoi, who according to reports have gone to London to visit his daughter-in-law Elizabeth Colebourn at London, along with former minister in his cabinet Bismita Gogoi and former chief V.K. Pipersenia has been named in an FIR filed by RTI activist Dulal Bora alleging involvement in a multi-crore scam in textiles and handloom department.

Bora, who had filed the complaint at the Dispur police station here after receiving reply to an Right To Information (RTI) query had alleged that in 2015-16, final year of Congress regime, Gogoi, the then Textiles and Handloom minister Bismita and the then chief secretary Pipersenia has flouted chief vigilance commissioner (CVC) norms and guidelines of the finance department.

Following the complaint, a case, (2850/18) has been registered with charges of fraud criminal conspiracy and breach of trust under sections 120(b), 420, 406, 409 and 34 of the IPC.

“We are currently investigating into the case. We have not reached to the stage where we will question the former chief minister but on his return, we will probably send a notice under the provisions of the code of criminal procedure (CrPC),” Dispur police told Time8 today.

According to party sources, Gogoi is expected to return by the end of this month.

RTI activist had filed an RTI asking details about a chief minister’s Special Programme Scheme worth Rs 125 crore for distribution of blankets and yarn that was approved on January 2016, about four months before the state went for its 2016 Legislative Assembly.

“According to the reply, 75 crores was allotted for yarn and 25 crores for blankets. The state was divided into six divisions for the disbursement of the same and tenders were invited for the supply. Out of 12 qualified tenders, a Ludhiana-based company, Youngman Woollen Mills Pvt Ltd was selected for quoting the lowest rates. However, the reply to the RTI application revealed that the firm received the supply order from the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles only for two zones while the rest were allotted to firms that had never participated in the bidding process,” Bora said.

“This is a clear violation of the norms laid down by the CVC,” Bora added.

He said that the RTI reply also cited a meeting on December 31, 2015 chaired by Gogoi at his residence along with all the high officials including chief secretary in which the decision to overpass the guideline of the finance department and to allow the directorate of handloom and textiles to accept the bids for the tender on yarn that quoted prices higher than the market rates were taken.

Bora further alleged that several other officials besides those who were named in the FIR might also be involved in this case.