The CBI today searched the residence and office of former Delhi health secretary Tarun Seem for alleged corruption in hiring private security firms for enhancing security at Delhi hospitals. Seem, a 1992-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, as the health secretary of the Delhi government had awarded contract to three private security firms–Knightwatch Security Limited, Innovisions Limited and SIS India Limited in May 2016.
It is alleged that the contract was given to these agencies in violation of general financial rules, Central Vigilance Commission’s guidelines, and tendering procedures and transaction of business rules, CBI sources said. The contract was allegedly given in a non-transparent manner in April, 2016 with no advertisement or tender issued, they said.
The agency alleged that no prior approval of Lieutenant Governor or Delhi cabinet was taken.
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The sources said the cabinet’s approval was taken retrospectively on June, 2016 after the deployment of guards from these private security agencies in May last year.
“Such retrospective approvals are taken only in the cases of extreme emergencies. There was no such emergency as the hospitals were being secured by ex-servicemen provided by Director General of Resettlement at a much cheaper rates,” an official said.
The CBI has alleged that the contract was awarded to these private agencies on the basis of nomination and even the estimates of cost involved were provided by the companies themselves. they said guards were hired for positions which were not sanctioned.
The related file was not sent to the administrative reforms department for sanction, they said.
The search operation was conducted by the CBI after registering a case on the basis of the findings of the Shunglu Committee which were referred to the probe agency by the vigilance department of the Delhi government with the approval of Lt Governor.
The searches took place at the residence and office of Seem and three security firms–Knightwatch, Innovision and SIS India–and some unidentified persons.
The CBI has alleged that the total cost of work was approx Rs 10.50 crore and “huge” loss was caused to the exchequer.
“Searches are being conducted today at the office & residential premises of accused at Delhi and NCR,” a CBI official said.