The MCD, facing a Delhi high court-ordered probe for paying Rs500 crore as salaries to ghost employees over the past five years, told the court that it never employed such persons. It said, that whatever irregularities have been alleged was a result of starting troubles in implementation of the biometric system.
In an affidavit, MCD Commissioner KS Mehra told the court that a huge hype was being created about a “non-existent scam”.
“Since only 79,559 employees were found enrolled on the biometric attendance system, the gap of 22,853 was noticed and the same was termed as ghost employees by a section of the media despite the fact that this was merely the gap in figures.
“Which could have been attributed to many reasons as till then all the employees were not marking their attendance through the biometric system. Therefore, a certain gap in the numbers was inevitable," Mehra said in the affidavit.
The court, seeking an explanation from the MCD Commissioner, had on May 4 said due to the presence of a large numbers of ghost employees, the MCD was headed towards a “fiscal disaster” and pointed to a “catastrophic maladministration”.
This was after the Delhi Police, probing the scam, submitted that there were roughly 48,000 of them at present and the loss caused to the exchequer was almost Rs500 crore.
Najmi Waziri, the counsel representing the police had told the court that “there was a loss of Rs99.33 crore every year and that the same has been going on for five years now."
He said the special investigating team found it difficult to conduct the probe as the MCD gave varying figures of the total number of employees they should probe for searching the ghost staff.
The MCD commissioner told the court that these figures were not based on facts and that action will be taken against all found guilty. “While the MCD said in May 2010 that there were a total 1,24,358 staff, their latest affidavit says the number is 1,43,216,” he had said.
It is to be remembered that MCD caused a stir in January too, this year, when it told police that the total number of ghost employees was 43,487 and not 29,680, as mentioned earlier.