LAHORE - Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) was reluctant to register an FIR against influential XEN and SE allegedly involved in embezzlement of millions, sources in the ACE confided to The Nation on Monday.

They claimed that inquiry was completed in June 2013 and inquiry officer recommended an FIR to be registered against the accused. But despite passage of about six months no case was registered due to reasons best known to DG ACE.

Applicant Sardar Muhammad Iqbal Khan in his application addressed to DG ACE put the matter in latter’s notice.

He said that S.E Thal Circle Mianwali, Asghar Meerani and XEN Irrigation Division Layya, Aslam Ansari not only received bribe of Rs1.2 million from him to approve his contract regarding construction of Flood Dike Layya but also caused loss of millions to national exchequer by enhancing the cost of project illegally from Rs70.24 millions to Rs120.37 millions. 

Khan claimed in his application that he was an A-class registered contractor of Irrigation, Highway and WAPDA. On 20-12-2011 a tender was published in newspapers regarding construction of Flood Dike in Layya irrigation division. Above mentioned SE, Asghar Meerani and XEN, Aslam Ansari pressurised all contractors to let their blue-eyed contractor be awarded. But all contractors refused and ultimately competition was held among contractors.

Applicant claimed that on opening the tender his bid was the lowest among all with 15 percent. Only to accommodate their blue-eyed contractor with work order whose bid was 12 percent below both the officer asked Iqbal to deposit additional performance security. Iqbal wrote a letter in response which was not responded by both officers.

Moreover both officers prepared a fake Bank Guarantee in the name of Iqbal, stamp paper of which was disclosed in the name of Muhammad Hussain during verification. On the basis of fake bank guarantee officers while misusing their authorities confiscated Iqbla’s Call Deposit of worth Rs1.45 millions. At the same time they assigned the construction work to their blue-eyed contractor.

Iqbal said in the application that officers demanded bank guarantee from their favorite contactor after allotment of work to him while the same was demanded by Iqbal before assigning him any work.

Another malafide intention of both officers which caused loss to national exchequer was that dike was being constructed with sand whereas as per agreement it was supposed to be constructed with mud. Since mud was to brought from distance due to which its expense was more than sand which was comparatively nearer. Iqbal revealed in application that both officers illegally revised the assessment of the project from Rs70.24 millions to Rs120.37 millions. As per law they were only authorised to reassess the project cost by 15 percent of the total estimate.

Another practice of liking disliking was observed during issuance of tender in ‘Concrete Lining of Hayat Dasti RD 174 to 217’ in the same division. The project was of worth Rs70.25 million. The work was assigned to favorite contractor against 4.50 percent higher rates. Iqbal claimed that he was ready to complete that project with cost 4.50 percent less than approved value.

DG, ACE marked the application to Regional director ACE Sargohda who completed the inquiry in June 2013 and found the said officers guilty of misconduct. The inquiry officer recommended registration of case against them but DG ACE has ordered to re-investigate the issue due to unknown reasons.  Now Assistant director ACE, Waqar Ahamd has been assigned the task to complete inquiry. When this scribe contacted Assistant Director Waqar to know the progress made in inquiry he refused to comment upon the issue and said that DG has directed him not to speak to media in this regard.