L-G okays CBI probe into 'irregularities' in buying 1K low-floor DTC buses by Delhi govt; AAP accuses him of 'diverting attention'

New Delhi: Delhi LG V K Saxena has approved a proposal to forward a complaint to the CBI to probe the alleged corruption in the procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the DTC, official sources have said. A complaint addressed to Saxena in June this year had claimed that the appointment of the Minister of Transport as the chairman of the committee for tendering and procurement of buses by Delhi Transport Corporation was done in a "premeditated manner".

It had also alleged that the appointment of DIMTS as bid management consultant for this tender was done with an aim to facilitate wrongdoing.

The complaint had alleged irregularities in a July 2019 procurement bid for 1,000 low floor BS-IV and BS-VI buses and another bid made in March 2020 for the purchase and annual maintenance contract for low floor BS-VI buses, the sources said. The complaint was forwarded to the chief secretary on July 22 to seek comments from the departments of the Delhi government and consequently their recommendations.

The report submitted by the chief secretary on August 19 had pointed out certain "irregularities", following which the L-G has now forwarded the complaint to the CBI, sources said, adding the CBI is already conducting a preliminary inquiry into the matter.

Saxena has approved the clubbing of the current complaint with the complaint already being inquired into by the central probe agency.

A committee, headed by retired IAS officer OP Aggrawal, constituted to look into the charges of corruption in the procurement of buses in June 2021, in its report submitted in August last year, had clearly indicted the AAP government for "procedural deviations in the entire tendering and procurement procedure", the sources said.

"Criminal misconduct by public servants in this tender exercise will be ascertained by the investigating agency, ie the CBI. On the basis of this, the Chief Secretary recommended to refer the matter to the CBI, which was approved by the L-G," said a source.

Meanwhile, AAP leader and MLA Durgesh Pathak said that the L-G is putting baseless allegations against Delhi government to distract attention from investigation of his scams. Pathak said, "The L-G wants re-investigation of cases in which the CBI has already given a clean chit. He wants contractors to pay him a cut in all tenders. When he was the KVIC Chairman, he laundered black money to white, gave contracts to his own daughter, bypassed the Patna High Court's order to pay ghost employees in cash. Despite all the allegations, he is not ready for an investigation."

In another press conference AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, " We are shocked to see this behavior because as an LG, he has various obligations under the Constitution of India. Ever since he has been appointed as the LG, he brings out age-old matters to attack the Delhi government."

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