New Delhi: The CBI has booked former Chief Executive Officer of Madras Cantonment Board for allegedly allowing private advertisement agencies to install billboards in violation of rules, causing a loss of Rs 1.5 crores to the exchequer.
The agency has registered the case against S Prabhakaran, currently working as Defence Estate officer at Visakhapatnam, and 14 advertising companies for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal misconduct and corruption among other charges.
It is alleged that while functioning as the CEO at Madras Cantonment Board between July 2013 and June 2015, Prabhakaran allowed private advertisement companies to install billboards in areas declared as “no hoarding zone”.
“No tender was called for this process and the private contractors had not applied in the prescribed format. They also did not submit the prescribed fees,” the FIR registered by CBI alleged.
The agency has also alleged that Prabhakaran gave permission to erect hoardings in the areas not under his control besides “no objection certificates” were not taken from the police, claiming that no traffic hindrance would be caused because of the billboards.
“It is also alleged that no note sheet was maintained by Prabhakaran and the applications received from accused contractors were without date. The sanctions were also granted in very casual manner without observing any of the procedures required in such deals, so as to favour private contractors,” the FIR said.
Out of 127 permissions given by the former CEO, 64 hoardings were erected, out of which 55 were on state government land, and the remaining nine were on Cantonment Board land, it alleged.
The FIR also alleged that Prabhakaran renewed the contract for one year despite his department advising against such a move.
“Due to the acts of Prabhakaran, the Cantonment Board and the state government incurred a loss of Rs 1.5 crores which was corresponding gain to the advertising companies,” the CBI added.