Desilting scam: Notice to four BMC officials for lapses

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2015 00:31 IST

The civic body has issued a show-cause notice to four of its officials on Monday for alleged lapses in the desilting scam case.

The four include two engineers and two officials from the legal department of the civic body. The officials are expected to explain their reasons for not intimating the top brass in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) about the case in the Bombay high court (HC) and its outcome. The explanation is expected in the next 2-3 days, senior civic officials said.

HC had recently stayed the blacklisting of the contractors involved in the desilting scam.

Sources said neither municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta nor additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh, who was probing the scam, were informed about the contractors approaching the court.

“As a result, BMC ended up presenting a very weak case before the court. Senior officials were not informed about anything, which is rare in a government set-up where the hierarchy is of utmost importance,” said a senior civic official, who did not wish to be named.

Senior officials said Mehta had only instructed junior officials to “initiate proceedings” in the case and issue a show-cause notice to contractors to explain their side in 15 days.

“The process has just begun. The contractors were not blacklisted. We will present our side in the affidavit that we will be filing before the court,” the official said.

Senior officials also said the stay has no connection with the criminal investigation that is currently being undertaken. The BMC had registered a first-information report (FIR) against the contractors at the Azad Maidan police station. Officials confirmed that the case has also been transferred to the Economic-Offences-Wing (EOW).

A detailed probe in the 2015 desilting has revealed that contractors and civic officials tried to embezzle as much as Rs38 crore which is 70% of the total amount of the desilting contracts for 2015-16. The contractors had submitted bogus bills and the civic officials had also approved these bills, the inquiry said.

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