The Anti Corruption Branch has launched a preliminary inquiry against senior IAS officer Chetan Sanghi over charges of alleged corruption, in what could trigger another round of face-off between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant-governor.
The enquiry has been initiated on a complaint filed on Monday by advocate-turned-RTI activist Vivek Garg who alleged that when Sanghi was chairman and managing director of the Delhi State Industrial And Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) in 2011-12, he had converted 350 industrial sheds in seven industrial areas from leasehold to freehold in a highly irregular and improper manner by misusing his official position.
The preliminary enquiry has been ordered by the L-G-appointed ACB chief Mukesh Meena. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s handpicked officer SS Yadav, who was replaced by Meena, is reportedly on leave.
Meena confirmed that an enquiry had been launched against Sanghi, who is currently secretary, urban development, Delhi government.
Meena and Yadav had recently clashed over the ACB’s control.
Garg claimed the land belonged to DDA, whose permission was not taken during the transfer. He alleged the DDA had put on hold the conversion of 250 more plots by the DSIIDC as it was not the competent authority to transfer the land.
“The DDA is the owner of the land. In April, this present state government tried to convert 250 more plots but the DDA raised objections. It has since been put on hold. They were doing it to give the land to their own people,” Garg said. He asked the ACB to probe the alleged financial benefits received by Sanghi.
Sanghi said the DSIIDC would upload a denial on its website. “Wait for the denial. It will be uploaded within an hour,” he said while calling the allegations baseless.
The DSIIDC later clarified that due approvals of the ‘competent authorities’ was taken before allowing conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold in 2011-12.
“It is clarified that the conversion from leasehold to freehold has been done following all the laws and after seeking due approvals of the competent authorities.
“The scheme for conversion from leasehold to freehold was introduced by the ministry of urban development and duly approved by Lt Governor of Delhi. All the cases of leasehold to freehold conversion have been done after receipt of due conversion charges approved by the L-G from each applicant,” DSIIDC said in its statement.