CBI Books 21 BSNL Officials for Cheating: Alleged Manipulation in Telecom Project Costs Government ₹22 Crore

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against 21 officials of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for allegedly cheating the government-run telecom company out of ₹22 crore. The CBI conducted searches at 25 locations across multiple states as part of the investigation. According to officials, a contractor colluded with BSNL officials to manipulate facts and inflate costs for a cable laying project.

The contractor in question was assigned the project at a rate of ₹90,000 per kilometer. However, the CBI revealed that the contractor claimed there was no right of way, leading to an implementation cost of ₹2.30 lakh per kilometer. This significant discrepancy suggests a deliberate attempt to defraud BSNL and unlawfully gain profits from the project.

The booking of BSNL officials and the subsequent investigation by the CBI underlines the government’s commitment to combat corruption and financial irregularities in public sector enterprises. The alleged collusion between the contractor and officials raises serious concerns about transparency and accountability within the telecom firm.

The CBI’s actions serve as a reminder of the importance of robust oversight and stringent protocols to prevent fraudulent practices in government projects. By holding individuals accountable for their actions, the investigation aims to restore integrity, protect public funds, and ensure fair practices within the telecom sector.

As the case progresses, it will be essential to determine the extent of involvement and identify any other individuals who may have played a role in the alleged cheating. The outcome of the investigation will determine the legal consequences for those found guilty, reinforcing the message that corruption and malpractice will not be tolerated in the public sector.

The case highlights the need for strong internal controls, vigilant monitoring, and efficient audit mechanisms to safeguard against such fraudulent activities. Additionally, it underscores the importance of fair and competitive bidding processes to ensure that public funds are utilized optimally and that the best interests of the government and its agencies are protected.

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