Taking on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government‘s alleged act of corruption, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 19 August recommended a preliminary inquiry by the CBI into the procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the AAP government.
The BJP had raised the matter of “corruption” in the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of the bus procurement by the Delhi Transport Corporation in the Delhi Assembly in March. Alleging a multi-crore scam in the purchase of 1,000 buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation, the Delhi BJP had demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
BJP Rohini MLA Vijender Gupta had alleged serious irregularities in the terms of the purchase and maintenance contracts.
Gupta had said that in January 2021, the Delhi government had placed a work order of 1,000 low-floor buses costing Rs 890 crore. Along with the order for purchase, it took out the tender for the annual maintenance of the buses for Rs 350 crore per year, he said.
The BJP leader alleged that this was handed over to the same bus suppliers. A three-member committee formed by Lt Governor Anil Baijal in June had found procedural “flaws” in the AMC and recommended scrapping it.
The lieutenant governor had referred the matter to the MHA in July for its consideration, the officials said. The MHA, after examining the report submitted by the Baijal-appointed three-member panel, which it says recommended a “detailed enquiry”, has asked the CBI to register a preliminary enquiry (PE) in the matter.
A PE is a precursor to a First Information Report (FIR), during which the agency carries out investigations to ascertain whether a cognizable offence is made out or not.
The Delhi government termed the move as “harassment” by the Centre.
“There is absolutely no truth to these allegations. A committee was already set up to investigate the matter thoroughly, which gave a clean chit. It is a politically motivated conspiracy against AAP. The BJP wants to prevent the people of Delhi from getting new buses,” the Delhi government said in a statement.
At present, there are 6,693 buses in Delhi 3,760 DTC and 2,933 cluster buses. The last purchase of new buses by the DTC was made in 2008.
The AAP government and the union government have been time and again at the loggerheads over various issues. From doorstep ration delivery scheme to appointment of lawyers in the Republic Day farmers protest case, the union government and the AAP government has always locked horns.