Guwahati, Aug. 21: Gauhati High Court today ordered a CBI inquiry into allegations of corruption against Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki.
The allegations against Tuki are related to grant of contracts to his kith and kin without inviting tenders. He allegedly abused his official position as minister by awarding contracts to his wife Nabam Yani, sister-in-law, brother and other relatives by flouting norms and procedures.
The order was passed by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice P.K. Saikia on writ petition (civil) No. 1267/2010.
Initially one Nabam Tagam had moved the high court with these allegations against Tuki and others by filing a public interest litigation. Later, when he sought to withdraw the PIL the high court registered it afresh as a suo motu writ petition.
"The favour shown to each of the kith and kin amounts to distinct and different offences. It is, therefore, directed that the Central Bureau of Investigation register a case and conduct investigation against the alleged misconducts of respondent number seven (Nabam Tuki)," the high court order said.
The court also asked the CBI to probe the alleged misconduct of respondent number five (Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, New Delhi) and respondent number six (the director of state sports council, Arunachal Pradesh), who have collaborated in and abetted the alleged offences.
"The CBI is directed to take the case records and other documents of this case in their custody from the registry of this court for the purpose of investigation," the division bench said in today's order.
The high court asked the CBI to file an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and submit the final report before the jurisdictional special court in Guwahati.
Tuki is alleged to have flouted norms during his tenure as the state's public works department minister in the mid-2000s.
According to Tagam, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan appears to have entrusted the construction job of its organisation to PWD, Arunachal Pradesh, which allotted works of several Kendriya Vidyalayas from Shillong to Calcutta and Rohtak in Haryana to Tuki's relatives at his behest.
Tagam, in his petition, stated that Rs 3.06 crore contract for construction of low cost housing for conservancy workersand people living below poverty line at Itanagar was awarded to N.E. Agency owned by Tuki's wife Nabam Yani.
"M/s N.E. Agency was also awarded another contract worth Rs 53.28 lakh for construction of staff quarters for Kendriya Vidyalaya Rohtak in December 2005," the petition said.
The petition further alleged that contracts worth several lakhs of rupees were also awarded to firms owned by Tuki's sisters-in-law, Nabam Aka and Nabam Mery.
When contacted, state government spokesperson Bamang Felix said they had come to know about the court order from television news channels and were yet to receive any order or any other document from the court.
An official in the chief minister's office said they had been told about the probe "verbally" and "it would be immature to comment on it now".
Tuki, who is in Itanagar, told The Telegraph via SMS this evening, "No official information received so far. Will respond to your query after getting information."
Tuki had taken over as chief minister from Jarbom Gamlin on November 1, 2011 for the first time and then the second time on May 18, 2014.
Additional reporting by Ranju Dodum in Itanagar