Director Ranjit Gogoi Arrested in DIPR Scam

Sleuths of Chief Minister's Special Vigilance Cell arrested the Director of Information & Public Relations (DIPR) in Vision Assam, Mission Assam

In a major development in the multi-crore 'Vision Assam, Mission Assam' scam in the State, sleuths of the Chief Minister's Special Vigilance Cell arrested Director of Information & Public Relations (DIPR) Ranjit Gogoi here on Tuesday.

Gogoi was later produced before the Court of Special Judge, which remanded him in 3-day custody to the Special Vigilance Cell. This is the first major arrest in the alleged scam that took place during the erstwhile Congress regime in early 2015. Interestingly, the senior official was summoned to appear before the Special Vigilance Cell office by Wednesday in connection with the scam. 

The Chief Minister's Special Vigilance Cell filed an FIR at the Special Judges' Court here on  October 21, in which 5 persons were named as accused, including Gogoi. A case (no. 8/2017) was registered under Section 120 (B)/468/471/406/409/420 of the IPC and 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, following filing of the FIR.

The FIR had named the Director of Information & Public Relations, besides proprietors of three advertising and publicity firms. They include M/s Brahmaputra Television Network proprietors Rajib Bora and Anjana Bora, M/s Delta Publicity proprietor Dilip Kalita and Pradip Advertising proprietor Apurba Lahkar. 

This is the first major arrest in the alleged scam that took place during the erstwhile Congress regime in early 2015.

An amount of Rs 33 crore was allegedly misappropriated in the course of 'Vision Assam Mission Assam' campaign by the Directorate of Information & Public Relations (DIPR). As part of the campaign, advertisements were issued to print and electronic media, while large hoardings were installed at several key locations across the State. However, it has been alleged that the numbers of advertisements and hoardings were deliberately inflated to siphon off government funds.
DIPR Ranjit Gogoi being taken to Court in Guwahati.
Image: DIPR Ranjit Gogoi being taken to Court in Guwahati.


The investigation has unearthed "irregularities and unethical practices of very serious nature" and indicted Gogoi for "wasteful negligence and unscrupulous and unethical manipulations" done by him "in collusion with media buying firms involved in the project for their wrongful gains". It also recommended "disciplinary action against certain officers" of DIPR and Information & Public Relations Department (IPRD).

According to the inquiry report submitted to the Chief Minister's Secretariat (CMS), the decision to launch a multi-media campaign 'Vision Assam, 

Mission Assam' was taken by the previous government in early 2016. It was outsourced to professional creative agency/production house and media buying agencies and executed through the DIPR and IPRD.

"The evidence seen so far is sufficient to start criminal proceedings in respect of the firms and the concerned officials, pending the completion of physical verification work in all the districts," the inquiry report had noted.

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