They are charged with diversion of 3,809 quintals worth about ₹1.37 cr.
The CBI has booked the owner of a Baramulla-based Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) in Jammu and Kashmir, an FCI representative and others for alleged diversion of 3,809 quintals rice worth about ₹1.37 crore.
Those named as accused in the FIR are FCI representative Ahmad Bhat, the PEG’s owner and managing partner Nirbhay Trehan, in-charge Sandeep Dagar, its manager Wazir Ahmad and Kash Ind Agro Infra Services, through Mr. Trehan.
The agency has invoked various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, alleging criminal conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust, criminal misconduct and bribery.
It is alleged that during physical verification of the stock carried out at the PEG in March, the FCI officials detected a shortage of 7,652 bags containing 3,809 quintals of rice. The verification of stocks conducted in February had not revealed any such discrepancy.
The agency said that during the check period, Mr. Dagar and Mr. Bhat were posted as in-charge of the PEG-Baramulla, on behalf of the FCI. They were responsible for overall monitoring and supervision of all the operations, including receipt and despatch of food grain stock at the PEG facility. Mr. Ahmad was custodian of all the stocks. He was an authorised representative of Mr. Trehan.
“It is also learnt that PEG-Baramulla is a 20,000-MT godown contracted to Kash Ind Agro Infra Services by the FCI for 10 years, at a monthly rent of ₹24 lakh per month,” said an official.
A similar case was reported in Kupwara about three years ago, in which the CBI had found hundreds of food grain bags missing.
In the ninth five-year plan (2007-12), the Central government had introduced the PEG scheme to promote food storage capacity through private participation. “The storage capacity envisaged to be created by private participation was to be hired by the FCI with guarantee ranging for period of seven and 10 years…,” said a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in 2017.
The same report said a test check of 153 cases of abnormal storage loss of the FCI Punjab Region revealed storage loss of 1,824.84 MT rice worth ₹45.79 crore in the PEG godowns between 2013-14 and 2015-16.