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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

BJP alleges Rs. 1,000 crore scam in transport dept

PTI  New Delhi, August 02, 2013
First Published: 02:35 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 07:24 IST(2/8/2013)

The Delhi BJP on Thursday alleged a Rs. 1,000 crore scam in Delhi government’s transport department and demanded a CBI inquiry into it. The opposition party claimed that investigators were not allowed to carry out a thorough probe as high- profile people, including the chief minister, were involved.

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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi government has been probing the alleged irregularities in award of fitness test of commercial vehicles to a private firm in 2008 without inviting any tender, the party said.

“A number of politicians including chief minister Sheila Dikshit are involved in the scam which runs into more than Rs. 1,000 crore. The ACB is not investigating the top people involved in it,” senior BJP leader Harsh Vardhan alleged at a press conference. “We demand a CBI probe,” he said. But the Delhi Government swiftly rejected the allegations as “baseless”.

The case was registered in the scam on a complaint of RTI activist Vivek Garg alleging the contract for lane test of commercial vehicles for fitness certificates was given by the Delhi government to ESP India by flouting norms.

Senior Delhi minister Haroon Yusuf, who was incharge of transport when the process for awarding contract was started, termed the allegations “totally baseless” and “politically motivated”.

The ACB had told the court that it was probing the role of government officials in alleged corruption in the case. The investigators have already issued notice to former transport commissioner RK Verma to join the investigation.

Meanwhile, Anil Chikkara, a licensing officer with Delhi’s Transport Department who is a witness in the scam, claimed there was a threat to his life as he was determined to “expose those involved in the scam”.

In its report to the court last year, the ACB had said that contract for crucial fitness test of commercial vehicles was awarded to the firm without any tender with approval of Delhi Cabinet but “no irregularities” could be found on part of the chief minister.

“The probe being conducted by the ACB does not inspire confidence. Therefore, in the interests of transparency and justice, the Lt Governor should ask the CBI to take over the case,” said Vardhan.


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