CID-Crime arrests former Metro Rail chief, ex-IAS Sanjay Gupta

ex mega chiefAhmedabad (ADI): Gujarat CID today arrested Sanjay Gupta, an ex-IAS officer and former executive chairman of the state-owned Metrolink Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA), for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore scam.

“Based on a complaint related to economic offences, CID-crime unit of Gandhinagar today arrested Sanjay Gupta,” Director General of police P C Thakur said.

Gupta was appointed as the executive chairman of metro project in 2011. He resigned in August 2013. The government found some financial irregularities during his tenure and lodged a complaint with CID-Crime on April 1 this year.

“As per the complaint filed by the CEO of MEGA Rajesh Mehta, Gupta and six others allegedly siphoned off Rs 113 crore through forged bills. It is alleged that when Gupta was heading the PSU, the company made payments for materials which never arrived,” said assistant commissioner of police, CID, S G Parmar.

MEGA was set up for the execution of metro project here.

The materials were to be used at a construction near Bhat village near Gandhinagar.

“Apart from Gupta, we have also arrested Radhesh Bhatt, who worked as a manager under Gupta and is accused of a similar fraud of Rs 2.62 crore for which a separate complaint was filed in December against him,” said Parmar.

Gupta quit IAS in 2003 to start his own business. He owns Neesa Group which runs hotels. He had also started a Hindi channel called Jano Duniya recently but it was later closed.

Ahmedabad metro work was inaugurated by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in March this year.

The 1985-batch IAS, Gupta has to his credit the successful foray in the natural gas grid in the state and turnaround of state-owned energy player Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited.

Gupta was made the chairman of Metro-link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Ltd, the special purpose vehicle for the Metro project, in April 2011 but he resigned in August 2013 to return to his multiple business interests under the Neesa Group of Companies. With the aim to fund his own companies and of other entrepreneurs, Gupta launched private equity fund, Let India Fly Foreover (LIFE) with fund size of Rs. 250-300 crore fund in September 2013.

Gupta had left the civil services in 2002, after Narendra Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat. Known for his networking expertise and turning around of the state-run energy player GSPC Group, Gupta was also associated with the Adani Group as an advisor. Later he ventured into hospitality business through his own Neesa Leisure Limited under the Neesa Group, which once touched Rs. 2,000 crore turnover with about 3,000 employees on its rolls.

According to sources in the know, Gupta’s companies including the hospitality business faced severe financial crisis while several ventures like a TV new channel couldn’t take off.

His hospitality business includes six luxury hotels and two golf properties. While other Neesa Group companies include Neesa Leisure Ltd, Neesa Infrastructure, Neesa Agritech and Food, Orient Spa, Neesa Technologies, Neesa Financial Services, Neesa Township & Properties and Cambay SEZ Hotels.