CWG scam: Arvind Kejriwal's AAP govt orders FIR against Sheila Dikshit

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 7 2014, 19:08pm hrs
Delhi's new government, headed by Arvind Kejriwal, today directed its Anti-Corruption Branch to lodge an FIR in the Rs 90-crore street light project for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in which a panel headed by a former CAG had indicted the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

After a Cabinet meeting, senior Minister Manish Sisodia said the ACB has been told to conduct a thorough probe into the scam as there have been "strong findings" in it by CAG and Shunglu Committee.

"The ACB has been directed to conduct an independent and thorough investigation and take action. ACB will file FIR in the case. Our motive is not to target a particular person," Sisodia said. Registration of an FIR is the first step in the filing of formal charges. Today's move was bound to needle its ally Congress.

Law Minister Somnath Bharti said a number of Commonwealth Games related projects that were implemented during the reign of Dikshit will be probed by the ACB which functions under the Delhi Government.

This is the second move against Dikshit by Arvind Kejriwal government this week. On Monday, it had recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee to issue an "advisory" to Dikshit based on a Lokayukta order for alleged wrongdoings in grant of provisional regularisation certificates to unauthorised colonies in 2008.

The Lokayukta had recommended issuance of advisory to caution her against repeating such wrongdoings.

Sisodia said investigation into the street lighting scam was closed at the level of preliminary inquiry though there were "strong findings" in the case by CAG and Shunglu Committee.

The Shunglu Committee and CAG in their reports had mentioned about flouting of laid down rules at the instance of Dikshit in awarding of contract to certain firms for procurement of street lights. Dikshit had vehemently rejected findings of the reports.

"It was strongly mentioned in the reports that many ineligible companies were made eligible through back doors and contracts were given to them. The then government had wasted Rs 31 crore," alleged Sisodia.

After taking over, Arvind Kejriwal had announced that his government will investigate all corruption cases, particularly the CWG scam.

In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, eight Congress MLAs are giving outside support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government which currently has 27 MLAs after expulsion of rebel legislator Vinod Kumar Binny. The government has also been given outside support by a Janata Dal(United) MLA and an Independent.

In 2011, the CAG report had mentioned that Spageage, one of the disqualified firms bidding for street lighting, was declared qualified "irregularly" after it made a plea to the then chief minister Dikshit.

The report had said the exchequer incurred a loss of Rs 31.07 crore on the street light project because of the decision to go for imported luminaries. CAG had said lights were bought at a rate allegedly much above the prevailing market price.

Rebutting CAG findings, the then Delhi government had said Spaceage was considered for the contract following a directive from the Delhi High Court.

The Shunglu Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister, had also mentioned about Dikshit's intervention in facilitating award of the contract to Spaceage.

Three agencies, PWD, MCD and NDMC had carried out the street lighting project on around 800 km of road at a total cost of Rs 286 crore.