Monday, February 24, 2014

CWG FIR may bring Sheila under probe : AAP Govt To Pursue Street Lights Scam

New Delhi: In a development that puts the role of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit in alleged Commonwealth Games scams under the purview of investigation, the anti-corruption bureau has filed an FIR in a case of “fraud in the purchase of imported luminaries that caused a loss of Rs 31 crore to the exchequer”.

The Delhi cabinet met on Thursday and decided to probe the alleged street lights scam. The ACB promptly moved to file an FIR on the basis of irregularities cited by the Comptroller & Auditor General’s report in 2011. The case is learned to have been filed under section 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and section 13 (1 c and d) of Prevention Of Corruption Act.


  • Apparent loss of 31.07cr to Delhi govt, caused by PWD, MCD and NDMC, as items were imported. Indigenous items not inferior to imported ones
  • When the real cost of the imported item is considered as base price, loss much more
Scheme of upgrades and use of imported items at exorbitant rates apparently a conspiracy and exercise to benefit certain companies or individuals at taxpayer’s cost ‘Clear nexus between Sheila team, vendors’ W hile the FIR has not named former CM Sheila Dikshit, sources told TOI that it includes a line, “under the chairmanship of former CM and her ministers”, making it evident that Dikshit figures in the investigation. Sources close to Dikshit said she did not want to comment on the matter at this stage and that she has not been named in the FIR.

Those who have been named are those who received “pecuniary benefits”. They include the contractors who supplied street lights during the Games, sources said.

The AAP government’s decision followed a scrutiny of CAG’s performance audit report on the Commonwealth Games, the Shunglu Committee report, PWD’s reply to the Shunglu Committee and CAG reports, and available records related to modernization of the Delhi street lighting system.

The project for modernization of Delhi street lights was conceived by the state government in June 2006, with plans to implement it across the capital within two years. Detailed lighting standards were prepared in November 2006 to be followed by all the departments concerned, namely PWD, NDMC and MCD. The project was executed on around 800km of Delhi roads at a tendered cost of Rs 286 crore. The lighting standard provided only the technical parameters of performance of lamps and luminaries. PWD, while adopting the same specifications, stipulated the use of a mix of imported and indigenous luminaries for different categories of roads.

“In the process, it appears that there was clear collusion with vendors by some officials and the then chief minister/ ministers to cause huge financial loss to the government and wrongful gain to vendors/contractors and others,” said a statement issued by CM Arvind Kejriwal's office on Thursday.

The statement added that in July 2007, SpaceAge Switch Gears had submitted an expression of interest as a “manufacturer of luminaries of international repute, and of poles in India”. The board of assessors (BoA) disqualified it in November 2007. On being disqualified, the firm appealed in November 2007 to then CM Sheila Dikshit for inclusion as a tenderer for the work. The vendor’s plea was directly forwarded to the engineer-in-chief. Subsequently, the firm was re-assessed by the BoA and this time made the cut.

According to the CM’s statement, if the BoA had been fair, it would have given a similar opportunity to the other two rejected firms. Records, however, do not show any such attempt.

“Unusual interest was displayed by the hon'ble chief minister in this project. This is demonstrated by the fact that meetings were held at her residence, imported luminaries were approved by her and competition was restricted to only three parties at her instructions...” the Shunglu committee report stated.

  • While the FIR has not named former CM Sheila Dikshit, sources say it contains a line “under the chairmanship of former CM and her ministers”, making it evident that Dikshit figures in the investigation.
  • Sources close to Dikshit said she would not like to comment at this stage

No comments:

Post a Comment