CBI seeks answers to many questions in Life Mission conspiracy

Life Mission contract signed by UAE Consul General, not Red Crescent

Thiruvananthapuram: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is getting ready to launch an extensive investigation into the alleged conspiracy in the Life Mission project given that none of the dealings as part of the scheme was just a coincidence.

The CEO alone did not know about MoU

The Life Mission CEO revealed to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that the file containing details of the MoU for the Life Mission project came to him only at 11am on July 11, 2019, the day the contract was signed, and that the file from the local government secretary instructed that he should take part in the signing event at 5pm that day.

The Red Crescent's deputy secretary general for international aid affairs and his team from the UAE took part in the event. All of them were informed at least a week in advance about the MoU and the event time was fixed. The inquiry will ask why the MoU was prepared hastily without the knowledge of many people who should have been involved.

Who are the partners?

The note of the local government secretary stated that the project would be implemented directly by Red Crescent. When the secretary is made to reveal who made this decision, he will have to point from where the direction came from above.

Officials involved in the MoU have already revealed that it was M Sivasankar, the principal secretary to the chief minister, who wanted the deal to be signed in a hurry.

An official from the law department had said that more clauses needed to be added to the MoU. However, the file with those suggestions is not to be found. The lost file will have to be brought before the CBI.

How Habitat was removed

The MoU had suggested that sub-contracts were needed for the project. It was later revealed that there was no such sub-contract.

The decision of a meeting called by the chief secretary to award contracts only to government-recognised entities was overturned. Habitat was the government-approved agency, but it was excluded from the scheme saying it did not have the prefabricated technology for construction.

But, Unitac, which won the contract, is constructing the buildings in the traditional manner and not by using the prefabricated technology.

Entities other than Unitac

Money came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a charity account at the UAE Consulate. The government does not know who got the money or how it was handled. An additional Rs 58 crore came along with this money. This was also given to several entities. Unitac received Rs 14.5 crore. It has been revealed that the company paid a commission of Rs 4.15 crore for winning the Life Mission contract.

A team that investigated how much money was spent on the construction has obtained other relevant information, too. It found that Unitac had awarded a contract to another company to build the flat at a much lower price than it had quoted.

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