Staff Reporter

Protest against arrest of 13 engineers on corruption charges

‘There is a mechanism to penalise the erring contractor and recover dues’

‘Civic body has given a wrong sanction to prosecute these engineers’

NEW DELHI: Nearly 1,000 engineers working in different departments of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi went on an indefinite strike on Friday protesting against the arrest of 13 MCD engineers on corruption charges registered since 2003.

Embezzlement of funds

The 13 were arrested this past Wednesday by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government on charges of embezzlement of funds through various means including introduction of non-existent names in muster rolls and allegedly colluding with contractors for monetary kickbacks leading to sub-standard construction works.

MCD Engineers’ Forum general secretary A. P. Khan said: “We want to protest against the inappropriate manner of arrests of our colleagues and the wrong charges levelled against them. The preliminary enquiry conducted by the MCD that subsequently led to their arrests has given a wrong sanction to prosecute these engineers. Several of these cases were on the verge of closure as no incriminating evidence was found during enquiry.”

Technical nature

“Moreover, in a majority of the MCD works of a technical nature, there is a mechanism to penalise the erring contractor and recover dues. The arrests have just been made to victimise and target our engineers,” he charged.

Mr. Khan also said that talks held with Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra, MCD Commissionner K. S. Mehra and MCD Standing Committee chairman Vijender Gupta had proved inconclusive so far though they had agreed to consider their complaints.

Legal matter

“Since this is a legal matter where FIRs have been lodged, we cannot provide any relief to the engineers. However, if any procedural lapses have occurred in our departmental enquiry that has led to their arrests then we are ready to review the situation,” they assured.