By: Bhupendra Narayan Singh
You don’t need guns or loot banks in India to make millions and billions. You just need to be an engineer in the
Government. From Yadav Singh to Surinder Pal Singh it’s a saga written in crores.
It is not good salary but the perks of the job that makes them hanker for plum seats. Government engineers
make hundreds of crores not by designing ultra hi-tech projects but by the sweet deals they sign.
When Engineer in-chief Yadav Singh was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation for corruption, and
estimated his worth over Rs 1,000 crore, it came as no surprise for anyone. But the sheer magnitude and
diversity of the dacoity and loot of the engineers is shocking to say the least. From Punjab to Madhya Pradesh,
it a common denominator. Here is a list of few kingpins:
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau recently arrested SE GMADA Surinder Pal Singh who is estimated worth
hundreds of crore. Singh was running four bogus firms to adjust ill-gotten money and earned huge amounts by
‘extended favours to construction firms by allotting tenders’.
During investigations it has come to light that Rs 40 crores were deposited in the accounts of these bogus
companies from 2012 to 2016 without having any business transactions. In addition to this, inter-transfer of
money was also being carried out by these firms and Singh with his relative’s GS Gill help purchased land
worth crores in the name of these companies.
The Vigilance teams conducted raids at nine places related with the investigations in Chandigarh, Ludhiana
and SAS Nagar, according to Chief Director Vigilance Bureau Punjab BK Uppal. The Bureau also booked
Gurmej Singh and Mohit Kumar of Ek Onkar Builders and Contractors Pvt. Ltd, Gurinderpal Singh Tinku of
Rajinder and Company Pvt Ltd, Amit Garg of Oasis Technologies Pvt Ltd. and promoters-directors of other
firms/companies associated with this Superintendent Engineer.
He revealed that it was a multi-crore scandal in development projects as the accused Engineer was indirectly
running four firms in the name of his wife and mother to adjust the ill-gotten money and have indirect stakes in
a construction firm Ek Onkar Builders. He had unduly favoured contractors after alteration in terms of tenders
and collected commission from them through his conduit. Chief engineer Jatinderpal allowed to open the tender
at higher rates without prior administrative approval.
6 engineers in the dock
The PVB booked six engineers of the irrigation department and a contractor for allegedly causing a loss of Rs
5.47 crore to the state exchequer in sale of sand extracted during desilting work at the Harike headworks
barrage in May.
Uppal said the bureau received information about the irregularities; and probe teams found that the, in the
project of Rs 12.04 crore, the engineers paid Rs 5.47 crore to the contractor for completing only 45% of the
tendered work. They didn’t take any action against him for not completing the work in the stipulated time, he
Those booked include chief engineer (canals) Jatinderpal Singh, executive engineers Vijaypal Singh Mann and
Gulshan Nagpal, sub-divisional officer (SDO) Mukesh Goyal, junior engineers Rishab and Vikramjeet Singh
Pannu, and contractor Ashok Kumar, under the Indian penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, at the
VB police station in Ferozepur.
Iconic Uttar Pradesh
Who is Arun Mishra?
What do India’s top lawyers — Soli Sorabjee, Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi and others — have in common? They
have all defended a mid-level bureaucrat in Uttar Pradesh who is accused of amassing disproportionate assets
worth crores and running scores of fake bank accounts.
A bevy of legal luminaries have appeared multiple times in the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court
over the past three years to defend Arun Mishra, chief engineer with the UPSIDC. Arun operated 65 fake bank
accounts with the Punjab National Bank, Dehradun, where he is supposed to have parked black money
The unusual part – Mishra draws a monthly salary of just over Rs 1 lakh while it is understood that the lawyers
often charge a fee ranging between Rs 5-20 lakh per day.
The CBI arrested him in 2011. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized his properties on Prithviraj Road in
Delhi’s Lutyens Zone, and Dehradun. The Prithviraj Road property, apparently bought in the name of a
company called Ajanta Merchants, where his wife and father are listed as directors, is alone worth an estimated
Rs 300 crore.
Among his other alleged properties the ED is investigating, are 60 acres of land in UPSIDC Industrial Park on
Kursi Road in Barabanki and the Asia School of Engineering and Management on another 52 acres of land.
Court records show he and his family have two palatial houses in upscale Gomti Nagar of Lucknow, five
properties in Dehradun and 100 acres of land in Barabanki.
After the CBI investigation into the Dehradun fake accounts case, the SIT filed an FIR against Mishra over his
alleged disproportionate assets in 2011 and the probe is ongoing.
The bureaucrat also faced charges in the 2007 Tronica City scam in Ghaziabad, where officers allegedly gave
away more than 400 plots at throwaway prices.
Mishra had joined UPSIDC as assistant engineer in 1986 and became chief engineer in 2002 – superseding
many others — at a time he held the coveted charge of managing director of the corporation.
In August 2014, Mishra was dismissed from UPSIDC on the orders of Allahabad high court for getting his job
on forged degrees. But he moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s decision.
In the high court, he was defended by Shanti Bhushan, who apparently would fly down to Allahabad whenever
there was a hearing, sources said. Soli Sorabjee, Harish Salve, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Gopal Subramaniam,
Nageshwar Rao, Shanti Bhushan argued against his dismissal, at different stages, in the Supreme Court,
which stayed the high court’s order. Mishra rejoined as UPSIDC chief engineer within a month, in September
Rohatgi, now the country’s attorney general, appeared for Mishra in the SC in the case related to the CBI probe
In 2016 Mishra was deprived of his powers as UPSIDC chief engineer and was restricted to oversee
development work in nine revenue divisions. He then hired Kapil Sibal to fight his case in the SC.
Salman Khurshid appeared for Mishra in the SC in a case wherein the Allahabad HC had passed different
orders relating to his alleged forged mark sheets and engineering degrees.
A millionaire bureaucrat in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav Singh, is in jail in connection with his massive wealth and the
CBI is still to give a final and accurate estimate about his wealth, which could anything in the range of Rs 1,000
to 10,000 crore.
Assets worth Rs. 10,000 crore, impossible on a government salary, were found during tax raids at Singh's
home in Noida.
During raids, Income Tax officers have found diamonds worth Rs. 100 crore, two kilos of gold, crores in cash
and 20 properties to Singh's name. The team also found documents of 40 fake companies in his wife's name.
The source of his fabulous wealth could be a scam worth crores, officials believe.
Singh was once in charge of the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities. He began in 1980
as junior engineer, and in two decades, had shot up to Chief Engineer. In 2012, the Samajwadi Party
government suspended him for alleged corruption. A few months later, he was allegedly reinstated with even