Legal technicality gives reprieve to MCD officials in corruption case

In a reprieve for the MCD’s incumbent as well as a former Director of Primary Education,a Delhi court turned down the CBI’s request to order registration of an FIR against them on corruption charges in constructing 601 toilets in MCD schools across the city.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: April 6, 2012 3:51:39 am

In a reprieve for the MCD’s incumbent as well as a former Director of Primary Education,a Delhi court turned down the CBI’s request to order registration of an FIR against them on corruption charges in constructing 601 toilets in MCD schools across the city.

What came to the rescue of director Prem Lata Kataria and her predecessor B Dass was a legal provision and case laws,relying on which a Special Judge held that his court lacked the power to take cognisance of the CBI’s complaint and order an FIR. The court observed that the CBI should have moved the plea before a magistrate,who was the competent authority,to take a decision on their plea.

The CBI had moved the application before the special court — designated to try corruption cases — after its complaint and subsequent representations with the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) for registration of an FIR failed to yield any result.

As per their application,the CBI had been trying since June 2010 to get the ACB to register an FIR against Kataria and Dass and also investigate the roles of other MCD education officials who could be involved in the conspiracy to defraud the Delhi government,which had released the fund to the MCD under its UEE Mission (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan).

The CBI alleged that a bogus company,‘Bal Zone Construction’,was floated and the fund released to this company without inviting any tender from the public at large.

The company,the petition added,after receiving the money merely put up a toilet sheet near the boundary wall in a few MCD Schools with inadequate provisions for sanitation and water.

The CBI alleged that while the cost of construction of a single toilet could not exceed Rs 5,000,the company raised a bill of Rs 1.2 lakh against each such construction.

“It has been apprehended that there is a possibility that Deputy Education Officer of each zone had his role in misappropriating the government funds and such preparation can be ascertained during investigation only,” contended the CBI,requesting the court to direct the SHO,Anti-Corruption,to register an FIR.

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