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Construction work: ACB files FIR into claims of benefits to bogus workers

According to ACB sources, the case was registered under sections 3(1)(d), 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption (POC) Act and IPC sections 420, 468, 471, 120B against unknown persons on Monday.

Written by Alok Singh | New Delhi |
May 8, 2018 2:47:49 am
construction worker benefits, acb, anti crruption branch, Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, delhi govt, indian express The government provides 17 benefits for construction workers registered with the board. (Bloomberg/Representational/Files)

Four months after the BJP’s city unit accused the Delhi government of irregularities in the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) has filed an FIR after they found “bogus” employees registered under it. When contacted, ACB Chief Arvind Deep confirmed that a case has been registered and a probe is on.

According to ACB sources, the case was registered under sections 3(1)(d), 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption (POC) Act and IPC sections 420, 468, 471, 120B against unknown persons on Monday.

The government provides 17 benefits for construction workers registered with the board. As per the ACB, a majority of the beneficiaries have been added in the last three years. Around 7,000 workers have been enrolled under the scheme since it was started in 2002.

A senior official from the board said, “The ACB is the apex inquiry authority and we are duty-bound to them… we are giving them all information. The district officers are compiling lists for this purpose. Since the CAG audits all our records, no financial discrepancy has come forward. As far as bogus registration is concerned, we will find out.”

Sources said a complaint was received by a person three weeks ago, alleging that the government had registered a large number of “bogus” workers. The complainant alleged that labour officers (LOs), posted in several areas, had registered employed persons as construction workers and disbursed funds to the tune of Rs 139 crore. An official said the complainant’s identity has been withheld as of now.

Sources claimed the ACB has found at least half a dozen such people, most of whom live in outer Delhi. During investigation, ACB officials reached out to these people and found that they were approached by an official in their area who registered them under the board.

Sources said one such man, working in a cloth shop, claimed he was contacted by a woman in his area. She got him to register as a construction worker to get benefits. He also claimed that he has got money in his account under the scheme, a source said.

In September, 2017, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari had alleged a “scam” in the board and had urged the L-G to order a CBI probe. The Delhi government, however, said they were “wild allegations”.

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