The former Delhi Chief Minister, Cabinet colleague accused of making illegal gains

The Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch on Thursday lodged an FIR against the former Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, in a streetlight project scam that occurred ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The ACB registered the case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and different provisions of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint filed by the Delhi Urban Development Ministry.

The complaint alleged that Ms. Dikshit and her then Cabinet colleague Rajkumar Chauhan, in collusion with officials of the PWD, civic bodies, contractors and vendors, made illegal gains for themselves and caused a loss of Rs. 31.07 crore to the exchequer.

The complaint accuses Ms. Dikshit of “displaying an unusual interest in the project and favouring a company which was earlier declared ineligible for the project.”

“…It appears that there was clear collusion with vendors by some officials and the then Chief Minister/Ministers to cause a huge financial loss to the government and wrongful gain to the vendors/contractors and others,” the complaint said.

An investigation into the matter has been conducted by several agencies, including the CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission. But the Delhi government said it had ordered the probe as most of the earlier investigations were eyewash and cases were closed without reaching any logical and meaningful conclusion.

“In the absence of any concrete action by the law-enforcement agencies of the Central government, it is apparent that most of these investigations were just eyewash and public posturing by the Centre without any intention to punish the culprits,” the complaint said.

The Delhi government said it called for several files, documents, tender-related papers, CAG reports, and the Shunglu Committee reports related to works executed by various departments and found there was an alleged collusion among the then Chief Minister, her Cabinet colleague, officials and the vendors to make illegal gains for themselves and cause loss to the exchequer.

“The lighting standard provided only the technical parameters of performance of lamps and luminaries. But the PWD, while adopting the same specifications stipulated the use of a mix of imported and indigenous luminaries for different categories of roads, when use of imported lights was unwarranted,” the complaint said.

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