1. What is Delhi’s Rs 400-crore Number Plate Scam: All we know so far

What is Delhi’s Rs 400-crore Number Plate Scam: All we know so far

In June last year, BJP had accused the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi of being involved in corruption in the contract of High-Security Number Plates (HSNP).

By: | New Delhi | Published: May 22, 2017 6:56 PM
delhi number plate scam, number plate scam. who did number plate scam in delhi, kapil mishra, arvind kejriwal, high security number place scam Sacked Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra on Sunday raked up the Delhi Number Plate Scam. (PTI file)

Number Plate Scam: In June last year, BJP had accused the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi of being involved in corruption in the contract of High-Security Number Plates (HSNP). The saffron party had also filed a complaint in this regard with the Anti-Crime Branch (ACB), even as the state government rubbished the allegation, according to a PTI report.

The complaint was filed by senior Delhi BJP leaders RP Singh and Harish Khurana. According to the complaint, Delhi government’s transport department had terminated a contract with a private company (Rosmerta HSRP Ventures Pvt. Ltd) after which the firm went into “arbitration”. However, the company was allowed to issue number plates “under the garb of arbitration.”

The complainant further said that AAP government had also formed committees to probe into the alleged scam. “The two committees formed by Delhi government in 2014 and 2015 had found various irregularities such as procurement of the plates from unapproved source and overcharging from customers but the company was allowed to issue the registration plates under the garb of arbitration,” Khurana was quoted as saying by PTI.

Rubbishing allegations of irregularities, the AAP government had, however, said that in January 2014, the then transport minister Saurabh Bhardwaj formed a three-member fact-finding committee. On the basis of the committee’s report, the AAP government had terminated the contract with the company in February 2014, a senior government official told PTI last year.

In the complaint, according to PTI, Singh had alleged that the scam was worth Rs 300 crore. However, several reports later suggested the scam could be worth over Rs 400 crore. “It is a more than Rs. 300 cr number plate scam involving Kejriwal govt. Let ACB enquire into my complaint?” Singh had tweeted as well.

According to reports, the high-security number-plate project was commissioned to Rosemerta HSRP Ventures Private Limited during Congress regime in 2012. The company was later accused of irregularities, not only in execution of the project but also overcharging customers and using the substandard material.

BJP’s complaint to ACB had said that around 30 lakh vehicles were registered during the 15-month of AAP government. It further alleged that the committee’s report had found that around Rs 1200 against the notified rate of Rs 119 was charged for the number plates.

The Number Plate scam came to the fore once again on Sunday as sacked AAM MLA Kapil Mishra accused the AAP government of being involved in the “Rs 400-crore Number Plate scam”. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Mishra pointed out that one Sheetal Singh had sponsored Russia trip of AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh. He said that Sheetal Singh was involved in the business of High-Security Registration Plate.

Mishra tweeted that there has been a Rs 400-crore HSNP scam in Delhi and Sheetal Singh is connected to the companies, which are being probed in connection with the scam. Mishra also said that AAP’s 49-day government had decided to cancel the the contract of Rosemerta Ventures. “But do you know that this decision was not implemented again when AAP came to power again. Why?” he tweeted.

Mishra also alleged that some of these accused companies have connections with several Hawala operators of the world.

However, AAP government has said that Mishra has been misguided about the Scam. AAP government spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted that the probe into the scam was first ordered by then minister Saurabh Bhardwaj during the 49-day AAP government but the decision was reversed by former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. Sharma also said Delhi government again sent the file Delhi ACB in 2016 even as the LG had sent it for arbitration.

In a series of tweets, Sharma said: “Horribly wrong script being handed over to Kapil Mishra – poor fellow has no clue of what he’s speaking ! Who is misguiding him. Probe into High Security Number Plates scam was ordered by @Saurabh_MLAgk in 49 days govt in Feb 2014 Then LG Jung reversed the decision.

“In Jan 2016 Delhi government again sent the HSNP file to Delhi ACB despite LG having sent the case for arbitration on compnay’s request. BJP had tried to rake up this issue in June last year but went silent when it came to know that file was lying with its ACB since months. Investigative agencies of Modi govt lack good spies. Kapil Mishra should be hired to probe foreign trips of @SanjayAzadSln & @ashutosh83B.”

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