L-G defends decision on CNG scam

Even as the Delhi Government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) on Tuesday began its probe into the CNG fitness scam of 2002, the Lieutenant Governor’s office came out with a statement justifying his decision not to initiate a high-level investigation into the matter and cited an inquiry report of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee.

The ACB, which has become the centre-stage in the turf war between the Aam Aadmi Party Government and the L-G, had recently decided to reopen the CNG fitness scam case, in which some top officers of the then Sheila Dikshit regime were accused of extending favours to a few companies issuing fitness certificates to CNG vehicles.

Though the ACB had registered a case in 2012 after it found that the Delhi Government had incurred a loss of Rs.100 crore in awarding the contracts of operation and maintenance for inspection and certification of CNG vehicles, the probe did not make headway reportedly in the absence of permission to question the officers. The probe agency also could not get full details of the case with evidence.

In particular, it was alleged that the losses were incurred because the then Delhi Government had awarded the contract to ESP India Private Limited instead of ESP USA.

The ACB’s move prompted the L-G Najeeb Jung’s office to issue a statement, in which he said there appeared to be no mala fide in the matter. “An Inquiry Committee was set up headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to inquire into the complaints about ESP India Pvt. Ltd. regarding the omission on the part of officers,” it said.

The L-G office pointed out that Jusitce Mudgal had concluded: “The committee notes with satisfaction that in spite of the lack of application of mind, there appears to be no mala fide on the part of any functionary of the Government in processing the proposal.”

The statement said the matter was not referred to the Union Home Ministry because the “powers of Central Government under Section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code have been delegated to the L-G who is within his rights, as the representative of the President, to accord or deny sanction of any action if and when requested.”

The AAP had earlier accused the L-G of trying to protect the guilty in the case by not allowing a CBI probe into the case.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:19:28 AM |

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