For hatching a criminal conspiracy, providing substandard buses to DTC,during CWG

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a charge sheet in the Additional Sessions Court in Pune against officers of the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), Ashok Leyland and Pragati Hightech Products, for hatching a criminal conspiracy and providing substandard buses to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), during the 2010 Common Wealth Games (CWG).

The case, which was registered on July 27,2010, charges the nine accused persons under sections 120 (B), 420 and 465 of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery; and Section 13(2), read with section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for public servants involved in criminal misconduct.

The charge sheet has been filed against R. Subramanium, Director CIRT; M.H. Bawadekar incharge of Technical Directorate; D.A. Nande, Head Engineering Division of the CIRT, along with Achyut Medekar, Vedprakash Gautam, Ashok Kumar Chopra, Vinay Bharadwaj, and Vikas Verma of the Ashok Leyland Ltd. Vivek Gupta,a private supplier and proprietor of Pragati Hightech Ltd has also been chargesheeted. An accused, V.D. Chavan has turned witness, according to CBI Special Public Prosecutor Vikas Saxena.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, alleged that two officers of the CIRT, Ms. Bawadekar and Ms. Nande “abused their official position as public servants, and entered into a criminal conspiracy in Februray /March 2010 with the representatives of the Ashok Leyland with an intent to cheat DTC,” by supplying substandard buses resulting wrongful loss to and “corresponding gain to themselves and Ashok Leyland.”

The Ashok Leyland had provided 63 non Ac buses to DTC. According to Mr. Saxena, each of the buses costed above Rs. 80 lakh. According to the charge sheet, the CIRT officials had forged documents to state that the plywood used in the buses were of high quality, and had passed the fire test. When the DTC rejected the buses, Ashok Leyland swapped the plywood, and the CIRT gave it a clearance without ensuring the quality. The DTC was supposed to sign on stickers, approving the quality of plywood. The charge sheet also states that V.D. Chavan was pressurised by R. Subramanium ,along with Ms. Bawadekar and Ms. Nande to conduct a fire test, on plywood without the DTC stickers.

Of the nine accused, Ms. Bawadekar and Ms. Nande along with the five employees of Ashok Leyland have been granted bail. Mr. Subramanium, who failed to be present in court was issued summons to be present in court on September 13.

Ashok Leyland denies charges

In a press statement on Friday, Ashok Leyland denied the charges of the CBI. “At the same time, the Company reiterated that there was absolutely no wrong doing on their part nor was there any compromise whatsoever, on safety norms with respect to the buses supplied to the DTC. Ashok Leyland reaffirmed that all buses supplied and plying with the DTC, fully conformed to all quality requirements and met all safety norms fully, it said.