No ‘Operation Cover-Up’, finds MCD probe

A preliminary inquiry by MCD - on whether files had been allegedly burnt by MCD officials on Friday night to escape a CBI probe — revealed there has been no cover-up, reports Vibha Sharma.
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Updated on Aug 04, 2007 11:52 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Vibha Sharma, New Delhi

A preliminary inquiry by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) — on whether important files pertaining to allotments made by the MCD’s Slum Department had been allegedly burnt by MCD officials on Friday night to escape a CBI probe — revealed there has been no cover-up.

The preliminary inquiry by the MCD’s Vigilance department showed the fire is not recent. "The files in question had been burnt in an incident that took place in August 2006. The final report, however, will be available within a week," said MCD Director (Information) Deep Mathur.

Mayor Arti Mehra clearly denied the files were burnt on Friday. "How can we be accused of a cover up? The files referred to in media reports had been destroyed in the fire a year ago whereas the CBI sleuths have started investigating the land scam only this week," she said.

Standing Committee chairman Vijender Kumar Gupta said if indeed the important files had been burnt on Friday, as alleged, the MCD would have at least registered an FIR of destruction of evidence on Saturday. "In such cases, heads begin to roll immediately but we have not suspended anyone because till now simply because no such incident has taken place," he said.

Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya said he had a copy of the one-year-old complaint registered with the concerned authorities when the fire had broken out in the department.

"The Slum Department had then conducted an internal inquiry and had decided to lodge a formal complaint with the concerned authorities on September 25, 2006 as some files had been destroyed. The matter was later handed over to the MCD’s Vigilance Department and statements of officials are still being recorded and a final report is yet to be tabled,” said Arya, who inspected the site on Saturday along with the Mayor.

A joint team of CBI sleuths and MCD’s Vigilance Department inspected the burnt files in MCD’s Slum Department on Friday morning. “The files are covered under layers of dust and cobwebs. It is so obvious that no fire took place here recently. Also, if we presume some official had tried to destroy the files on Friday, why would he burn them only partially? If he had access to the files, he could have taken the files outside the MCD office and burnt them anywhere and dumped the ash into the nearby drain,” said Gupta.

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