The AAP government chose not to send the fact-finding committee report into the alleged multi-crore wanter tanker scam to the Anti-Corruption Branch for several months as it was “sure” that the LG-appointed chief of the body would “misuse” it politically against it, Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra alleged today.
In a press conference, Mishra, whom the ACB has asked to join its ongoing probe into the matter on July 4 after the government recently forwarded the file to it after BJP raked the issue up, alleged Meena was doing everything possible to exonerate former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from the case.
Mishra wondered why she was “not being questioned”. Dikshit has already termed the probe as “politically motivated” and has also questioned its timing ahead of the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab assembly polls.
“The ACB is yet to act on three separate FIRs filed against the Dikshit government. Moreover 38 cases have been forwarded to it by the vigilance department on which even status reports have not been filed,” Mishra told reporters.
Rejecting BJP’s charges that the Arvind Kejriwal government “suppressed” the committee’s report for 11 months, Mishra said when he had initially approached the Chief Minister after preparing the report, he was advised to wait till the HC settles the issue of who has control over ACB.
“We had internal discussions after the report was ready. The CM told me that we did not have ACB under us and the incumbent Meena would never ensure a fair probe and put it in cold storage.
“Then we decided to wait till the High Court decides as to who has control over ACB,” Mishra said.
LG Najeeb Jung recently forwarded two separate complaints related to the case to the ACB, one by the government and the other by BJP leader Vijender Gupta, and those named in the complaints include Dikshit and Kejriwal. Meena has said both Dikshit and Kejriwal will be quizzed.
Mishra, who also holds the charge of Chairman of Delhi Jal Board, had in June last year formed a panel to look into the hiring of around 385 stainless steel water tankers from private companies during the tenure of the Sheila Dikshit government in 2012.
In its report, the panel allegedly found irregularities in the tendering process, leading to a loss of Rs 400 crore for the government. Curiously immediately after its submission, Mishra was divested of his charge as Law Minister.
After the panel submitted its report, Mishra in a letter to Kejriwal had recommended filing of FIR against Dikshit where he had also “expressed fears that attempts” would be made to “destabilise” the AAP government and “remove” him from his post.