After the ghost employee scandal, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is now investigating irregularities in the regularisation of 85 safai karamcharis by the East Municipal Corporation (EMC). The ACB is probing the involvement of councillors and other senior civic officials. Investigations have revealed that these officials shielded themselves from criminal liability by saying that departmental inquiries had been initiated against them.
In 2009, a report submitted by the then Municipal Commissioner K S Mehra had revealed that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had 22,583 ghost employees on its payroll. These “staffers” had been costing the corporation a minimum of Rs 17 crore each month.
According to sources in the ACB, the regularisation scam began in 2011. However, the investigation began recently, after the civic agency’s Chief Vigilance Officer wrote to the ACB following the formation of the new government.
Sources said in December 2013, Chief Vigilance Officer Victor James complained to the ACB stating that 85 employees had been given permanent jobs in the corporation even though they had not worked for even a day in the corporation. A new scheme had been introduced, which said any safai karamchari who had worked for even a day in the corporation between 1994 and 2010, would be regularised. The FIR was registered last week.
ACB officers said an Assistant Sanitary Inspector in charge of marking attendance had been blamed for the scam, while several other officials had been subject to departmental inquiries and given minor penalties to shield them from criminal liabilities.
Sources said for the 85 employees, fake pay slips had been prepared as well. The ACB has asked EMC to submit the entire list of employees hired between 1994 and 2010 along with their signatures and other relevant documents.