Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena has given nod for a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government,
Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar recommended the CBI probe and the Lt Governor okayed it.
A complaint alleging corruption and irregularity in the appointment of Kailash Gehlot, the Delhi transport minister, as chairman of the committee related to tendering and purchase of buses had been filed with Saxena in June 2021.
The complain also alleged that the appointment of Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) as the management consultant was to facilitate irregularities in the purchase of the buses. Following this, the tender for bus purchase was cancelled.
The Lieutenant Governor had sent this complaint to the Chief Secretary in July, and had received a report from him in August, officials said.
In the report, the Chief Secretary highlighted discrepancies in the tender process. “There is gross violation of CVC guidelines and general financial rules,” the report said, adding that DIMTS was deliberately made a consultant to hide the discrepancies in the tender process.
Also read: Know more about Vinai Kumar Saxena, Delhi’s new Lieutenant Governor
Saxena’s move has however triggered a row, with AAP party and Delhi government accusing the Lt Governor of corruption.
“Buses were never purchased, tenders were cancelled. Delhi needs a more educated LG. This man has no clue what he is signing on. LG is facing many serious allegations of corruption. To divert attention, he is making such enquiries. All enquiries so far have yielded no results. After making frivolous complaints against three ministers (CM, Dy CM and Satender Jain), he has now made complaint against fourth minister,” the Delhi government said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also alleged that Saxena, when he was chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), had given a contract for interior designing of a Khadi lounge in Mumbai to his daughter against norms.
“He (Saxena) should first respond to the allegations of corruption against him. The Lieutenant Governor should first answer the allegations of corruption against himself. The lieutenant governor is accused of committing a scam of ₹1,400 crore as the chairman of the Khadi Village Industries Commission. During this, he gave the contract to his daughter without tender,” AAP said.