Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has approved a probe into Delhi government’s purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses, sparking fresh tension with the Aam Aadmi Party government headed by Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi government has alleged that the probe was politically motivated and that the Lieutenant-Governor should first clear his name of corruption charges levelled against him.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, has been tasked to conduct the inquiry into the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses by Delhi Transport Corporation, officials said.
The decision to hand over the case to the probe agency was taken following a recommendation by chief secretary Naresh Kumar.
The Lieutenant Governor had received a complaint in June this year, alleging corruption and irregularity in the appointment of the Delhi transport minister as chairman of the committee related to tendering and purchase of buses and the appointment of Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) as the management consultant to allegedly facilitate irregularities in the purchase of the buses.
The Lieutenant Governor had sent this complaint to the Chief Secretary in July, and had received a report from the Chief Secretary in August, officials said.
In his report, the Chief Secretary pointed to serious discrepancies in the tender process. “There is gross violation of CVC guidelines and general financial rules,” the report said, adding that DIMTS was deliberately made a consultant to hide the discrepancies in the tender process.
Based on the report, the Lieutenant Governor has now forwarded the complaint to the CBI, sources said, adding the CBI is already conducting a preliminary inquiry into the matter.
Mr Saxena has approved the clubbing of the current complaint with the complaint already being inquired into by the central probe agency.
The Delhi government has hit back saying that the Lieutenant Governor’s decision was politically motivated.
“Buses were never purchased, tenders were cancelled. Delhi needs a more educated LG. This man has no clue what he is signing on. LG is facing many serious allegations of corruption. To divert attention, he is making such enquiries. All enquiries so far have yielded no results. After making frivolous complaints against three ministers (CM, Dy CM and Satender Jain), he has now made complaint against fourth minister,” the Delhi government said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has alleged that Mr Saxena misused his position and awarded a contract for interior designing of a Khadi lounge in Mumbai to his daughter when he was the chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
Citing its allegations against Mr Saxena, it said “He should first respond to the allegations of corruption against him. The Lieutenant Governor should first answer the allegations of corruption against himself. The lieutenant governor is accused of committing a scam of Rs 1,400 crore as the chairman of the Khadi Village Industries Commission. During this, he gave the contract to his daughter without tender.”