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NRI involve bribe deal of Rs. 3 crore between senior IAS Father-in-law and Contractor

New Delhi, April 25, 2007
Preeti Khosla

In the FIR, the CBI alleged that Rakesh Mohan, senior IAS officer had accepted a bribe of over Rs. 3 crore from Vijay Kataria, owner of Kaveri Infrastructure Private Limited, to award a contract of Rs. 35.84 crore to his company.

Instead of taking 10% of the contract value in cash, he preferred to have a house in the US for his NRI son-in-law Mohit Mehra, who is an IT professional there.

On November 9, 2004, The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had invited tenders: It was proposed to carry out works from A-2 Park Janakpuri to Janak Cinema in West Delhi and from Hindu Rao to Jhandewalan reservoir in Central Delhi.

  • For re-laying and renovation of water pipelines in some areas of the Capital- required a specific technology in which there was apparently no need to dig trenches.
  • Six firms responded and three were short-listed by the Jal Board.

    Later on it was decided:

  • To renovate 3.5 km of South Delhi mains between Haiderpur water treatment plant and Mangolpuri.
  • A 0.5-km stretch between Sonia Chowk and Vikas Kunj (a distance of 4 km) and 2 km of water pipeline from Pul Bangash to Idgah (emanating from Chandrawal water works) were to be renovated as per the new work order.

CBI alleges:

  • The consortium asked for a mobilisation advance of 10 per cent of the contract value, which the Jal Board allowed, despite this not being mentioned in the tender document.
  • The rate at which the contract was awarded was much higher than the rates for laying new pipelines of similar dimensions.
  • The technology that was supposed to be used was not meant for renovation of water pipelines but was suitable only for increasing the carrying capacity of the pipes already laid, according the FIR
  • Later, it transpired that the other two firms in the consortium were non-serious firms and were indirectly related to Kataria's firm.

In 2004, The CBI raided Mohan's residence after registering a corruption case against him for misusing his official position as the chief executive officer of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in awarding the contract.

Vijay Kataria of M/s Kaveri Infrastructures India Ltd vs. Rakesh Mohan IAS deal

  • Deal between Rakesh Mohan and contractor Vijay Kataria, owner of private company Kaveri Infrastructure India Ltd, the latter had to purchase the house, worth over Rs 3 crore, in Los Angeles and execute a special power of attorney in favour of Mehra in 2005 when the process for award of contract was in progress
  • The case was also registered against the owner of a well-known infrastructure company, Vijay Kataria of M/s Kaveri Infrastructures India Ltd, who got a contract dealing with the laying and repairing of water pipelines.
  • Raids have also been carried out at the Gitanjali Enclave offices of Kataria and his factories in Faridabad. Kataria's brother Devraj's factory in Faridabad has also been searched and he will be questioned along with Kataria's manager Sushil Mehta.


NRI son-in-law Mohit Mehra, who is an IT professional involve in Rs 3 crore deal- He is also under the scanner.

  • To make the transaction legally foolproof, a loan of approximately Rs 3 crore against this property was taken from a bank in the US on the basis of the power of attorney. The CBI suspects this was done by the accused to avoid detection.

  • "These transactions were registered two days before recommendation for awarding the contract was made," a CBI spokesperson said.



Rakesh Mohan, a very senior IAS officer of 1978 UT cadre

  • Rakesh Mohan has primarily held posts in the Delhi Jal Board and the PWD department of the Delhi Government. He was DJB chief when he was brought to the Delhi government as Principal Secretary, PWD in 2005.
  • Later, Mohan held additional charge as Principal Secretary, PWD & Land and Building. He was then made Financial Commissioner. This is a less important post than the Finance Secretary's even though the former is in charge of all revenue matters in the city

Vijay Kataria of M/s Kaveri Infrastructures India Ltd vs. Rakesh Mohan IAS deal

  • Kataria adopted a unique way to pay Mohan, whose daughter Priyanka is maried to US-based software engineer Mohit Mehra. The latter figures prominently in the investigation but he has not been booked by the CBI yet. "We will first study the documents and then proceed accordingly against Mohit," a senior CBI official said.
  • Kataria allegedly bought a house worth Rs 6 crore in Los Angeles where Mohit stays. He then transferred the house through power of attorney to him. Mohit in turn reportedly took a loan approximating to Rs 3 crore from a US bank on the basis of the house. "All these transactions... were made on the same day. Two days later, the contract was awarded to Kataria..." a senior CBI official said.