NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recommended a preliminary enquiry by the CBI into procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the Delhi government. Additional secretary of the ministry, Govind Mohan informed Delhi chief secretary Vijay Kumar Dev about the development through a letter on Monday. Alleging corruption in the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of the buses proposed to be purchased, BJP and Congress had been demanding a CBI probe into the matter.
The Delhi government has consistently refuted allegations of corruption and accused the BJP-led Central government of using the premier investigation agency to harass it. “I am writing this in connection with the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses by the Delhi government and the report submitted by the three-member committee constituted by the Government of NCT Delhi for a detailed enquiry into the matter. The matter has been examined in this ministry and with the approval of competent authority, the DoPT has been requested to take necessary action for undertaking preliminary enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation,” said the ministry letter.
The three-member committee formed by Delhi’s L-G Anil Baijal, in its report, found no ‘infirmity’ in the procurement of the buses. But it flagged several lapses in the annual maintenance contracts. Delhi BJP leaders staged a sit-in at the office of L-G in July seeking a probe. BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who had raised the matter in the Assembly, alleged there was a scam of thousands of crores of rupees in the bus procurements. “The transport minister and officials behind the conspiracy must be removed to ensure a free and fair probe,” said Gupta.
The Delhi government said there is no truth in these allegations. “A committee was set up to investigate, which gave a clean chit. It’s a political conspiracy against Aam Aadmi Party. BJP wants to prevent the people of Delhi from getting new buses. In the past also, the Centre tried to harass the Delhi government using CBI, but not even once has their attempts been successful. There has never been any truth in any allegation,” said the Delhi government.