The Anti-Corruption Branch today told a Delhi court that it will "shortly register" an FIR on a complaint, which alleged that the contract for lane testing of commercial vehicles to grant them fitness certificates was given to M/s ESP India by the city government without inviting any tender.
The complaint alleging corruption in grant of contract had been filed against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and others.
"Senior public prosecutor (for Anti-Corruption Branch) has submitted that they (ACB) are going to register the FIR shortly and will file an investigation report (before the court on the next date of hearing), Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal noted in her order.
"The SPP has submitted they shall be proceeding as per law. Let them do so," the court said in its order.
The agency, however, remained silent on complainant's query as to whether they would be filing the FIR "on basis of and in terms of" his complaint or on the basis of ACB's status report in which they had given a clean chit to Dikshit and former Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.
The matter pertains to a complaint filed by RTI activist Vivek Garg against Dikshit and Lovely, alleging that the Delhi government gave the contract for lane test of commercial vehicles before grant of fitness certificates to M/s ESP India without inviting any tender.
The complaint also names former Transport Commissioner R K Verma and M/s ESP India.
On the last date of hearing, the ACB had submitted a status report in the court in which it had said the contract for crucial fitness test of commercial vehicles was awarded to a private firm without any tender and with approval of the Delhi Cabinet but "no irregularities" could be found on part of the Chief Minister.
It had said rules were violated to give "undue favour" to ESP India in award of the contract.
"The work (of lane test of commercial vehicles) was awarded to M/s ESP India Ltd on nomination basis without calling any tender with the approval of the council of ministers of the government of NCT of Delhi," it said.
On the allegation that the approval was given by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the ACB had said "the approval was recommended only after obtaining the views of planning, finance and law department as per rule of businesses. However, no irregularities have been found on the part of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and the then Transport minister."
"The agreements dated February 27, 2008 and February 3, 2010 between Transport Department and M/s ESP India (for implementation of automated vehicle inspection unit and other works) were based on the conditions approved by the Cabinet of GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi).
"It was the primary duty of the Transport Department and M/s ESP India to follow the same but was in vain and undue favour was given by the Transport Department to M/s ESP India who cheated the public by taking the extra fees without conducting the loaded emission test," the ACB had said.
The ACB's report also said during the course of inquiry "no verbal or documentary evidence came on file" regarding the allegations raised by the petitioner against Sheila Dikshit and former Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.
"Therefore, the allegations against Sheila Dikshit and Arvinder Singh could not be substantiated," it had said, adding the role of the transport officials and M/s ESP India
is being further probed.
Garg, however, submitted in the court today that "as per a Supreme Court judgement, the ACB is bound to register the FIR in terms of his complaint and against all those named in his complaint."
The complainant had sought the court's direction to lodge an FIR against Dikshit, Lovely, Verma and the owner of ESPIndia allegedly for cheating, criminal breach of trust by public servant, criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal while also alleging that the company "is not having adequate and qualified engineers, keeping lives of innocent citizen at high risk and is also causing massive accidents.