2002 CNG-fitness case: Are officials sharing selective files, information, panel wants to know

The Special Inquiry Committee on the CNG-fitness scam is headed by AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta and include Somnath Bharti and Rituraj as members. It is probing the alleged irregularities in awarding of contracts to check the fitness of CNG kits to commercial vehicles by the Transport Department in 2002.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Published:June 26, 2017 4:46 am
delhi govt, delhi assembly, indian express Delhi Assembly. (Express Photo. File)

The special committee, formed by the Delhi Assembly to probe the alleged 2002 CNG-fitness case, has found that “officers are reluctant to share information” and that only “selective files” are being shared. This has prompted the committee to summon the Law Secretary and the Chief Secretary on Tuesday, sources said.

The Special Inquiry Committee on the CNG-fitness scam — formed by the AAP in October 2016 — is headed by AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta and include AAP MLAs Somnath Bharti and Rituraj as members. It is probing the alleged irregularities in awarding of contracts to check the fitness of CNG kits to commercial vehicles by the Transport Department in 2002. Though the committee has been relatively dormant, things changed last week, admitted party leaders.

Now, a flurry of three summons to officers in four days has led the committee to believe that “officers are reluctant to share information”. Sources said the officers are “citing the need to consult the law department or the L-G while bypassing the elected representatives of the government” while also “selectively sharing files with the committee”.

The first chargesheet in this Rs 100-crore case was filed in September 2016. Although, initially a part of AAP’s arsenal against the ruling-Congress government, AAP had also used the issue to attack the silence of the BJP-led central government on the issue. Things have changed since then. Most recently, the ACB sought legal counsel before naming Rajendra Kumar, former principal secretary to CM Arvind Kejriwal in their chargesheet.

Kumar was arrested in July last year but was later granted bail by the CBI in an alleged case of criminal conspiracy to cause a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015.

On June 20, the committee summoned the transport commissioner and the director of the vigilance department. “Both officers came. But the transport commissioner said the ACB had taken away all the documents,” said a source, adding, “both were reluctant to share any information”.

Two days later, the “two were absent” when called before the committee and “they sent their representatives, without prior permission”, said the source. Both, the representatives told the committee, had gone to meet Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, added the source.

“The representative from the transport department submitted photocopies of some documents, without signature. He was asked to convey strong displeasure of the committee to the commissioner of the department and asked him not to be absent without permission,” said the source.

On June 23, the source said, the vigilance director was present but “with only one document – in which the L-G asked the chief secretary to seek the opinion from the law department before presenting it to the committee”.

The source said the committee had found that the “law department appeared to be sending selective files to the Law Minister, as was the vigilance department, which was sending files directly to the L-G. As a result, the law secretary and the chief secretary have been summoned by the committee,” said the source.

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