CBI inches closer to former Union Minister Babul Supriyo

In his defence, Supriyo said, “Before working for me, Sushanta Mallick served as assistant to other ministers as well. I removed him from my office several years ago. The FIR is an act of vendetta. Ever since I joined the TMC, a Union Minister has been trying to get me into trouble. The CBI is losing its relevance as an investigative agency."

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Insight Bureau: The CBI has filed an FIR against former Union Minister Babul Supriyo’s ex-confidential assistant, Sushanta Mullick, in a case of alleged corruption. The agency alleged that Supriyo’s staff – when he was minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprises in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government – received ₹50 lakh by promising to favour a private company.

The FIR was registered on May 7 on the basis of a complaint received on March 12, 2021. Supriyo dropped the BJP to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in September 2021.

Further probe into his assistant Sushanta Mallick, has led CBI to inch closer to Supriyo along with other officials.

In his defence, Supriyo said, “Before working for me, Sushanta Mallick served as assistant to other ministers as well. I removed him from my office several years ago. The FIR is an act of vendetta. Ever since I joined the TMC, a Union Minister has been trying to get me into trouble. The CBI is losing its relevance as an investigative agency.”

Bengal BJP’s chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya, however, denied the allegations stating that it would be absolutely unethical to assume the FIR had anything to do with Supriyo changing camps.

As per the CBI’s preliminary probe, senior officials of Engineering Projects India Limited (EPIL) sought a bribe of ₹50 lakh from one Ashutosh Bandhopadhayay, the owner of a private company named after him. The alleged bribe was demanded to provide favour for the tenders awarded and being awarded by the EPIL during 2016-2017.

The Agency further investigated that ₹40 lakh out of the total of the ₹50 lakh was to be given to SPS Bakshi, the then CMD of EPIL whilst the remaining ₹10 lakh was to be given to Harcharan Pal, the then executive director (contracts) and Paritosh Kumar Praveen, the then manager (Grade Il) of EPIL.

SPS Bakshi, Harcharan Pal, Paritosh Kumar Praveen, RS Tyagi, Sushanta Mallick, M/s Ashutosh Bandhopadhayay, including unknown public servants and private persons have been registered as accused in the FIR.

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