Thursday, January 23, 2020

SICOP dupes J&K Police in e-challan equipment purchase


JAMMU, FEB 1: In a sensational scam, SICOP (Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited) defrauded Jammu and Kashmir Police by supplying e-challan equipment worth 20 thousand per device for 2.20 lakh per device.

The written authorization of the manufacturer has allegedly also been forged by SICOP along with the letter informing the J&K Police that they have supplied the handheld devices.

J&K PHQ had issued a tender for Supply, Installation, Commissioning, maintenance and training of equipment for e-challaning system. Hand-held e-challan devices would replace the manual system of challans. This was done during the tenure of former Director General Police Dr S.P Vaid.

It is pertinent to mention that the former DGP Dr. S.P Vaid recently tweeted that he had ordered an FIR in the matter considering the irregularities committed by SICOP in supplying e-Challan machines to J&K Police.

The price of the equipment was raised nearly ten times higher by SICOP in an attempt to dupe J&K traffic Police. Moreover, when J&K Police approached the manufacturer namely M/s Vehant Technologies whose written authorization was present in bid documents, they denied having sold the machines to J&K Police directly or through SICOP.

Sources reveal that “SICOP resorted to falsification of documents and did not supply equipment according to the supply order to try to obtain wrongful gain against corresponding loss to the state exchequer.”

The tender was issued in October 2016 and SICOP was the lowest bidder. Accordingly, SICOP got the order for e-challan equipment in July 2017. The equipment to be supplied had to be as per the tender specifications and bid documents of SICOP.

In the bid documents, SICOP had briefed the Police Headquarters that M/s Vehant Technology, a reputed manufacturer of e-challan devices would be supplying the machines. SICOP even uploaded the written authorization of the firm dated November 2016.  However, this authorization letter was also allegedly forged.

When some of the devices were supplied, a committee headed by former IG Traffic Basant Rath discovered some irregularities in the matter. The committee ascertained that SICOP had not supplied the Hand-held Devices manufactured by Vehant Technologies for which they had quoted the price of 2.2 lakh per device. Instead, they had supplied hand-held e-challan device Model G-11 POS manufactured by Visiontek that costed a fraction of the quoted amount- 22 thousand rupees per device.

After this discovery, the release of payment to SICOP was stopped and a Committee was set up headed by former IGP Traffic Basant Rath to probe into the matter. Considering manipulation of equipment prices and forgery of authorization letter, an FIR was ordered in the matter in August 2018.

The necessary question to be asked is what made former DGP Dr S.P Vaid tweet that an FIR was ordered by him regarding this scam in August 2018?


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