The CBI has registered a corruption case against eight officials of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), alleging that they routed company funds amounting to Rs 5 crore to certain contractors through fraudulent means between January and August.
The accused were identified as Bhaben Maitra, Abinash Kumar Sarkar, Subhashree Das, Jayaram Garada, Bipra Charana Maharana, Jisudan Khosla, Urdhab Khola and Sadananda Nayak, besides "unknown officials". A copy of the FIR named the complainant as Uday Kumar Raut, Manager (Vigilance) of HAL's Engines Division in Koraput, Odisha.
According to letter sent by Mr Raut to the CBI, a half-yearly internal audit earlier this month revealed that the accused had allegedly processed payments worth crores for contractors without furnishing supporting documents. Mr Maitra, a senior manager (finance) of the Engine Division at Koraput, was accused of approving some of these vouchers without seeking the requisite bills and work orders.
The HAL vigilance department seized a pen drive, mobile handsets, a cash voucher register, a cash office advises register, a diary and three master files after an investigation. The contractors who received the money were identified as Jayaram Garada, Bipra Charana Maharana, Jisudan Khosla, Urdhab Khosla and Dadananda Nayak.
The letter went on to say that Mr Maitra was suspended pending an inquiry on October 7. It claimed that the case was handed over to the central investigation agency because it involved possible bribery, corruption, forgery and criminal breach of trust, and required a proper "probe" for establishing the charges.