Assam Public Works Department files a new FIR against Wipro Limited and the NRC Directorate, alleging misuse of money.

An NGO from Assam has filed a first information report against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Directorate and information technology company Wipro for allegedly misusing a “large amount of public money” during the process of updating the NRC. Based on a petition submitted in 2009 by the non-profit organisation Assam Public Works, the NRC of 1951 was updated in the State.

Aabhijeet Sharma, president of the NGO, stated that since the NRC’s creation, his group has been keeping an eye on the process of updating it. A total of 3.3 crore applications, or around 19.06 lakh, were not included in the final list of citizens released in August 2019. The government spent about 1,600 crore on the total project.Assam Public Works lodge fresh FIR against Wipro Limited, NRC Directorate; alleges misappropriation of funds - Assam Public Works lodge fresh FIR against Wipro Limited, NRC Directorate; alleges misappropriation of funds -

The NRC Directorate gave Wipro Limited a contract with one of the top software installation firms. According to the FIR, the company received 1.27 crore between February and August 2017 for the installation of two software programmes.

However, according to the National Institute of Smart Governance’s report to the Office of the Accountant General, Wipro did not install any such systems. For acquiring 3,500 generators at 2,500 NRC Seva Kendras, Wipro was also given 34.76 crore. According to the FIR, however, audit investigations showed that the business instead contracted the generators for a billed value of 93,964 against a market price of 35,000.

In order to update the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Assam Public Works (APW), the primary petitioner in the Supreme Court of India, has filed a police report against Wipro Ltd. The complaint accuses Wipro of stealing a sizable sum of public money from the NRC updating process in the state.Assam NGO files FIR with CBI against former state NRC coordinator over alleged financial irregularities | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

The APW, which continues to speak out against religious terrorists, illegal immigrants, and ethnic militant groups in the area, filed a first information report (FIR) with the Paltanbazar police station in Guwahati on October 14. The powerful civil rights organisation also included the NRC Directorate as a party to the FIR.

The APW, which has also been working for the welfare and protection of Assamese citizens’ civil rights and liberties, claimed in the FIR that significant corruption had occurred during the updating of the NRC Assam with the active participation of the relevant top officials, where a sizable sum of money was misappropriated for personal gain.

The NRC Directorate trusted Wipro Limited to be one of the top software installation businesses, and as the system integrator, it periodically filed invoices for software installation and other system-oriented tasks. Out of those, it filed a bill for the purchase of Oracle Standard One Edition and Oracle Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition totaling Rs. 1.27 crore. The aforementioned sum was also paid between February and August 2017.

“However, no such system was installed and used in the concerned process, according to the on-the-ground report of the National Institute of Smart Governance (which was presented to the Accountant General). According to the report, the NRC Directorate cleared the money through collusion and a common understanding with M/s Wipro Limited, according to Aabhijeet Sharma, the APW president who filed the FIR.Assam Public Works alleges misappropriation of fund by Wipro Ltd, NRC Directorate - Sentinelassam

The FIR also made note of instances in which fake invoices were presented to the auditor (against the procurement of generators purportedly installed in 2500 NRC Seva Kendras). Wipro Limited received a release of Rs 34.76 crore for the installation of 3700 generators (each amounting to Rs 93,964). But the generators weren’t installed in many NSKs (but hired for the time being). Additionally, it is discovered that these generators only sell for Rs 35,000 apiece on the open market.

Meanwhile, a local journalist has written to Wipro Technologies’ management in Bangalore to draw attention to the issue of at least 6,000 deprived part-time workers (data entry operators) in the NRC Assam update process (where the NRC authority spent a total of Rs 1600 crore) and to implore Padma Bhushan Azim Hashim Premji, the chairman of Wipro Technologies, to look into the situation so that those DEOs receive their legal dues.

However, according to Biswajit Nath, Wipro’s possible involvement in the NRC Assam update fraud from 2015 to 2019 has generated many concerns among the aware people. Biswajit Nath praised Premji as an example to thousands of Indian businesspeople for his extremely ethical business practises.

“The NRC authorities approved Wipro for Rs 14,500 (to 17,500) per DEO every month, but the subcontractors only paid Rs 5,500 (to 9,100) to each DEO each month. The letter noted that “shockingly, around 6000 DEOs were denied even the minimal amount as per the country’s basic minimum wage, and the DEOs have yet to receive their complete compensation” (which may be Rs 100 crore in total).FIR Lodged Against Wipro On Money Laundering, Letter Sent To Premji | Ukhrul Times

Wipro offices in Guwahati and Bangalore were contacted for a comment, but none was provided. APW has already charged the renowned IT firm with money laundering during the NRC update procedure. But since then, it has been silent. Premiji’s letter was, however, automatically acknowledged as having been received by the Azim Premji Foundation office.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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