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Delhi govt orders FIR in Rs 90-cr CWG street light scam
AAP govt alleges probe into the scam was closed at preliminary inquiry level though there were ‘strong’ findings by CAG and Shunglu committee.
Delhi’s new government, headed by Arvind Kejriwal, on Thursday directed the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) in the Rs 90-crore street light project for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in which a panel headed by a former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had indicted the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
After a Cabinet meeting, minister Manish Sisodia said the ACB had been told to conduct a thorough probe into the scam as there had been “strong findings” by the CAG and the Shunglu Committee.
“The ACB has been directed to conduct an independent and thorough investigation and take action. ACB will file an FIR in the case. Our motive is not to target a particular person,” Sisodia said.
Registration of an FIR is the first step in the filing of formal charges. Thursday’s move was bound to needle its ally the Congress. Law Minister Somnath Bharti said a number of Commonwealth Games projects that were implemented during the reign of Dikshit will be probed by the ACB, which functions under the Delhi Government. This is the second move against Dikshit by the Kejriwal government this week. On Monday, it had recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee to issue an “advisory” to Dikshit based on a Lokayukta order for alleged wrongdoing in grant of provisional regularisation certificates to unauthorised colonies in 2008. The Lokayukta had recommended issuance of an advisory to caution her against repeating such wrongdoings. Sisodia said investigation into the street lighting scam was closed at the level of preliminary inquiry though there were strong findings in the case by CAG and the Shunglu committee.
The Shunglu Committee and CAG in their reports had mentioned about flouting of laid down rules at the instance of Dikshit in awarding of contract to certain firms for procurement of street lights. Dikshit had vehemently rejected findings of the reports.
“It was strongly mentioned in the reports that many ineligible companies were made eligible through back doors and contracts were given to them. The then government had wasted Rs 31 crore,” alleged Sisodia.
After taking over, Kejriwal had announced that his government will investigate all corruption cases, particularly the CWG scam.
In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, eight Congress MLAs are giving outside support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government which currently has 27 MLAs after expulsion of rebel legislator Vinod Kumar Binny. The government has also been given outside support by a Janata Dal(United) MLA and an Independent.