Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi BJP president, Harsh Vardhan, has charged the Mayor, Farhad Suri, with hatching a "conspiracy'' to save the Congress Councillor, Ashok Jain, from being prosecuted by CBI by bulldozing the MCD House and unilaterally in connivance with the Vigilance Department giving a "clean chit'' to Mr. Jain.

In a statement here, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said he had written to the Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, seeking removal of Mr. Suri and prosecution sanction against Mr. Jain. "It is a conspiracy hatched by Mr. Suri and some other Congress leaders to save a person who had been caught red-handed by CBI taking bribe.''

Dr. Vardhan said it was shocking that the Vigilance Department of MCD was conniving with the Mayor in giving a clean chit to Mr. Jain. Dr. Vardhan said he had also forwarded a copy of his letter to Mr. Patil and to the Lieutenant Governor, B.L. Joshi, for necessary action. CBI had trapped Mr. Jain while allegedly taking bribe in August 2004.

The leader of the Opposition in MCD Standing Committee, Vijender Kumar Gupta, said Mr. Suri had written to the CBI on May 5 that the incident involving Mr. Jain was a result of political conspiracy and no criminal intention was involved. Mr.Suri had stated that the complainant, Rishipal had withdrawn his complaint, whereas Mr. Rishipal had informed Mr. Suri through a letter on July 13 that he has not withdrawn his complaint. He wanted Mr. Jain to be prosecuted and was ready to help the court. Following this, the Director (Vigilance) sent to CBI a letter on May 19 that it was not necessary to prosecute Mr. Jain in view of the recent developments and the letter written by the Mayor.

The Leader of the Opposition in MCD House, Subhash Arya, said it was important that the sanction for prosecuting Councillor was given by the House and not the Mayor. The prescribed procedure for it is that the Municipal Commissioner prepares a preamble for discussion on the subject, the House discusses it and generally the sanction is given. In this case neither the Commissioner prepared any preamble nor the House discussed it, he added.