The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government Thursday asked its anti-corruption bureau to investigate the alleged irregularities in installing streetlights during the 2010 Commonwealth Games organised under then chief minister Sheila Dikshit.
Acting swiftly, the anti-corruption bureau filed a fresh first information report (FIR) slapping cases under section 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) against unknown people.
Officials said Dikshit’s name has not been mentioned in the FIR but it was there in the three-page note given by the Delhi government that mentions that the irregularities took place during her tenure.
Dikshit, whose party gives the crucial outside support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, refused to react, saying she was yet to know about the charges in the case.
In yet another bid to embarass the Congress, the AAP government recommended to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots with a time frame of one year to submit its report.
Riots broke out in the capital following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards Oct 31, 1984.
In its poll campaign for the December assembly elections, the AAP went hammer and tongs against the Congress government over irregularities in conducting the Commonwealth Games.
It had promised to send the guilty, including then chief minister Dikshit, behind bars.
“We have asked the anti-corruption bureau to find out why ineligible companies were made eligible and how the purchases (of streetlights) were made at escalated prices,” Delhi minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
“There was a loss of Rs.31 crore to the exchequer,” he said.
Asked whether there will be a probe against Dikshit, who was in power for 15 years, Sisodia said the probe was not directed towards any individual.
According to an official statement: “There was clear collusion with vendors by some officials and the then chief minister (Dikshit) to cause huge financial loss to the government and wrongful gain to the vendors, contractors and others.”
Citing the “strong findings” of reports by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) and the prime minister-appointed V.K. Shunglu Committee on the Commonwealth Games, Sisodia said officials of municipal bodies and Delhi government were involved in it.
The items which had market rates of Rs.7,000-Rs.8,000 were purchased at higher rates of up to Rs.31,000, Sisodia said.
The decision to probe the Commonwealth Games matter came two days after the Kejriwal government recommended to the president strict action against Dikshit for the alleged irregularities in distributing provisional certificates to unauthorised colonies.
The Commonwealth Games were mired in controversy with opposition parties alleging largescale corruption.
Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi and some senior officials of the Commonwealth Games organising committee were arrested on charges of corruption.
The CAG, in its report tabled in parliament in 2011, had said Dikshit had knowledge of “wasteful” expenditure to the tune of Rs.30 crore.
It had said the decision to use imported streetlights on selected roads was not based on technical parameters, but was taken with the active involvement of the chief minister.