Guwahati- Chief Minister Vigilance cell has filed a second chargesheet against the Gautam Baruah, former chairman of ABOCWWB in connection with “forgery of Govt. funds amounting to Rs. 121 Crores ”.
A 74 pages supplementary chargesheet vide Chargesheet No. 01/2020 dated 22.05.2020 was filed today in the Court of Special Judge, Assam, as the 2nd Chargesheet in Vigilance PS case no. 09/2017, against Gautam Baruah, Ex-Chairman of the Assam Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, (ABOCWWB), relating to the largscale scam in the Board during the year 203 to 2016.
The Investigation Officer of Vigilance PS case number 09/2017, Faruk Ahmed, APS, DySP, Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell, carried out the investigation and submitted the 2nd (supplementary) chargesheet.
The Government of Assam had granted Prosecution Sanction against the arrested accused Gautam Baruah. The Investigation Team completed the investigation of the case and submitted the chargesheet within the stipulated time frame, after the recent arrest of Gautam Baruwa from New Delhi.
A case was registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by Tapan Sarma, IAS, the then Labour Commissioner Cum Member Secretary of Assam Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, (ABOCWWB) about the “forgery and large scale misappropriation of Govt. funds amounting to Rs. 121 Crores of board funds” by his predecessor Member Secretary and Chairman. On the basis of an enquiry conducted in CMs Special Vigilance Cell in 2017, a case was registered vide Vigilance PS case no. 09/2017, on 07.11.2017.
Earlier 1st Chargesheet was submitted in the year 2018 vide Chargesheet No. 01/2018 dated 29.01.2018 against the arrested accused persons Chohan Doley, IAS (Retd), Member Secretary of the Board, who was arrested on 14.11.2017, Priyangsu Bairagi, Contractor and Proprietor of M/S. Purbashree Printing House, who was arrested on 08.11.2017 and Nagendra Nath Choudhury, the then administrative officer of ABOCWWB, who was arrested on 16.11.2017.
The case was pending since the prime accused Gautam Baruah was absconding and evading joining the investigation and was finally arrested by the Police team from CM’S Special Vigilance Cell with the active coordination of Delhi Police Crime Branch from the busy streets of Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi, on 24th February, 2020, and after thorough custodial interrogation he was forwarded to judicial custody.
The Chargesheet details evidence collected during investigation, which establishes how Gautam Baruah, the prime accused while serving as the Chairman of the said Board, officiated over procurement of stationary and printed materials worth approx. Rs. 121.00 Crores, in three successive financial years of 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 20152016, which was unprecedented and excessive, in gross violation of prevailing rules and misappropriated the money collected as cess meant for the welfare of construction workers and how he along with the co-accused office bearers of ABOCWWB, entered into a criminal conspiracy, by abusing their official positions, and committed cheating, forgery and
misappropriation of public funds by gross violation of laid down Govt. rules and procedures in tendering process, award of tenders for printing works at 4-5 times the prevalent market rates, with the intent of causing huge illegal profit, of more than 68 crores, to the private contractor Priyangshu Bairagi, the co-accused in the crime. The Chargesheet cites 37 witnesses and 174 documents as evidence to prove the case.
Further investigation is being continued to find out the money laundering aspects of the criminal proceeds from the acts of corruption by the 4 accused persons.