Scam in MCD: Arya

NEW DELHI SEPT. 26. The Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Subhash Arya, today alleged that the Corporation's Advertisement Department was embroiled in a major scam as it was shielding companies that owe lakhs of rupees to the MCD. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the scam and strict action against the MCD officials and advertising agencies involved in it.

"In a recent income tax raid on the office of one Adwell Advertisement Services, several important documents and bounced cheques were seized. These were the same documents that had gone missing from the department and contained records of dues that these advertising companies owe to the MCD," he alleged.

Mr. Arya said that in May this year, he had written to the Municipal Commissioner seeking information about the outstanding dues against various advertising agencies since 1996. "In July, the Commissioner replied that Rs.92.50 lakhs is outstanding against the Hindustan Publicity Pvt. Ltd. and Rs.8.94 crores against the Mod Advertising. He also informed that these cases were pending in court."

However, when Mr. Arya tried to get information under the Right to Information Act, he was denied information and the matter was later taken up at the Public Grievances Commission. Subsequently, the department filed a reply stating that 25 cases were pending in the court. "The department also accepted that Rs.28.54 lakhs is outstanding against the Advert Communication besides the Hindustan Publicity Pvt. Ltd and the Mod Advertisement. In that list, it gave no information about the outstanding amount."

Mr. Arya alleged that of the three advertising agencies whose offices were raided by the Income Tax Department, the names of two - Adwell Advertising and Interlink Communication - who have to pay the MCD lakhs of rupees were not mentioned in the information provided by the Department. "Ironically, in the case related to the Interlink Communication, even the court has decided in favour of the Corporation, but the department has so far failed to make any recovery from it. Even the recovery documents were misplaced. All this clearly indicates that senior department officials are involved in the entire scam."

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