Fraud charge against Gurgaon expressway developer DS Constructions

Written by Timsy Jaipuria | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 5 2013, 15:07pm hrs
Gurgaon toll plazaDS Constructions, the concessionaire of Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, is allegedly siphoning off toll money.
To enable an independent agency to look into the allegations related to siphoning off toll money by DS Constructions the concessionaire of Delhi-Gurgaon expressway the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Thursday filed a complaint against the company with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

According to the complaint, the NHAI has accused the concessionaire of forgery, criminal breach of trust, fraud, etc.

"The concessionaire, its directors, officers and other persons in a criminal conspiracy and, with intent to defraud, have committed forgery of valuable securities by making false documents and electronic records, books of accounts, etc., for under reporting of the user fees/toll collection and used them as genuine, fully knowing that they were using forged documents and electronic records to defraud and to cause wrongful loss to the complaints/ government of India and causing wrongful gain to the concessionaire/ private persons, NHAI stated in the complaint.

The complaint further said that "the authority has been recently receiving several complaints about revenue leakages by the concessionaire" and, based on a direction received from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) way back in 2011, the authority was asked to "undertake traffic survey with video recording and forensic examination of the computer systems/ servers and back-up data for any misuse/ tampering with the system."

The NHAI has also charged the concessionaire of not cooperating in the traffic survey.

The complaint with the EOW was lodged after the road transport and highways ministry on Monday asked NHAI to file an FIR against the operator based on its study that had found huge under-reporting of traffic at the 32-lane toll plaza.

According to the study, the under-reporting caused NHAI a loss of Rs 24 crore between August 2012 and July 2013.

"the concessionaire and its directors, officials, servants or agents and other persons are alleged to have committed various acts of omissions and commissions to cause wrongful gain to themselves and wrongful loss to NHAI, government of India of a colossal amount of revenue," the complaint stated.

However, when contacted, a DGSCL spokesperson refuted the traffic survey numbers provided by KPMG and said that it would take strong action against the parties responsible.