Just two days after his tenure came to an end, former Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to record his statement on Thursday in two bribery cases related to Jammu and Kashmir.
The case was registered after Malik claimed that he was offered Rs 300 crores to clear two files when he was the governor of J&K.
In April, the CBI registered two separate cases and initiated an investigation into the allegation of offer of bribery for clear files related to the award of contract for the J&K Employees Health Care Insurance Scheme and the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project (HEP) to private companies.
Malik was stayed in the CBI office for five hours, as per a source who also said that the former BJP leader could be summoned for questioning again in the cases.
“Investigators have got some specific leads following raids conducted in September. Some big developments may take place in the coming days,” a source in the CBI told The New Indian.
In April and September, the central agency conducted two rounds of searches at 43 locations. The role of an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer had cropped up during the course of investigation. The officer was also subsequently questioned by the CBI, as per officials privy to the probe.
In 2021, he told a gathering in Jhunjhunu town in Rajasthan that the two files were related to the Ambanis and a functionary of BJP’s ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Two files had come for my consideration. One of the secretaries told me that if I approve these, I can get Rs 150 crore for each. I turned down the offer saying that I had brought five kurta pyjamas to Kashmir and will just go back with them,” Malik said in October 17 last year.
Malik, who also served as a governor of Goa, had also said that he apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the matter, who, asked him not to compromise on corruption.
He played an important role in the run up to the abrogation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 in 2019. He is credit with rejuvenating the government machinery in J&K.
Malik served as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir from August 2018 to October 2019. He was later transferred to Goa and subsequently to Meghalaya.
A prominent Jat leader of the western Uttar Pradesh, he fell out with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah over the year-long agitation against the now-scrapped three farm laws.
He had supported the agitators, urging the central government to take back the laws. Malik had openly criticised the prime minister, calling him an “arrogant” man.
In January this year, when lakhs of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were camping at the borders of Delhi, Malik said that he met PM Modi to discuss farmers’ demands but ended up arguing with him.
Though he has maintained that he would stay away from active politics, he recently declared support for Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.