The Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) of the Delhi government has submitted its report to the chief secretary in a case of alleged “irregularities and corruption” in the construction of 2,405 classrooms in 193 schools and has recommended probe.
The DoV report, prepared after seeking the responses of the Education Department and the PWD, prima facie points towards a major scam and has suggested “a detailed investigation by a specialised agency”.
The DoV has submitted the report in the matter related to a complaint dated August 22, 2022, with regards to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report dated February 17, 2020 highlighting glaring irregularities in the construction of additional classrooms in different schools of the Delhi government by PWD. The CVC had sent the report to the DoV seeking its comments on the matter.
The Vigilance Department has also recommended “fixing the responsibilities of the concerned officials of the Education Department and PWD” who were involved in the bungling to the tune of nearly Rs 1,300 crore. It has also recommended to forward its findings along with the replies of PWD and Education Department to the CVC for consideration, said a source on Friday.
Apart from several procedural lapses and violation of rules and manuals to tamper with the tender process, the DoV, in its report, has specifically underlined the role of private persons viz. “M/s Babbar and Babbar Associates”, who, without being appointed as a consultant, not only attended a crucial meeting held on June 21, 2016, in the chamber of the then PWD Minister, but also influenced the Minister for post-tender changes done in the work contracts in the name of “richer specifications” that resulted into additional financial implications of Rs 205.45 crore.
In the report, the Secretary (Vigilance) has observed that “extra constitutional agencies / persons (like M/s Babbar & Babbar Associates) were running the administration and dictating the terms and conditions to the officers and the entire administration both at the policy level as well as the execution level and were implementing such directions of private person in a place like national capital of the country, which is not only against TBR, 1993 and other rules, regulations and guidelines, besides being a serious threat to the securities aspect. This kind of approach will lead to administrative anarchy and chaos.”
BJP slams Cong for abusing PM Modi
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed the Congress for abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Taking potshots at the Congress, party’s National spokesperson Sambit Patra on Saturday said that Congress leaders have completed a century of abuses against Modi.
Addressing a press conference, Patra added, “The manner in which top leaders of the Congress party are repeatedly using language and abuses for PM Modi is being seen on TV every day. In such a situation, the Congress has established itself as a party of abusers. Congress leaders called Modi ji ‘lowly’, ‘Yamraj’ and what not. In this way, Congress leaders have completed 100 abuses. It reflects their thinking.”
“A Congress leader from Karnataka has called Modi ji ‘Bhasmasur’. Similarly, recently Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge called Modi ji ‘Ravan’. Sonia Gandhi even called Modi ji a ‘Merchant of Death’,” he said.
Urging the people of the country, Sambit added, “We call upon the people of Gujarat and the country to reject such Congress party in a democratic way by adopting the cycle of democracy.”
Condemning Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he said, “Similarly Arvind Kejriwal tries to make a lie the truth. Just a few days back, Kejriwal said that Manish Sisodia has got a clean chit and the scam that has taken place in the Excise policy is not a scam, but he is not going to be saved.”
He also added, “From Manish Sisodia to many accused have changed mobile phones dozens of times in this case. From this you can guess whether the common man changes mobile phones so quickly.”
The BJP National Spokesperson said, “Large-scale destruction of digital evidence done by Ex-Excise Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia; 170 mobile phones destroyed by 36 accused in Delhi liquor scam including him. Manish Sisodia changed four mobile handsets in one day and 14 handsets in 2-3 months after CBI’s FIR against him. He might have consulted Delhi CM Kejriwal, AAP leader Vijay Nair, liquor scam accused Amit Arora and Sunny Marwah to destroy digital evidence. Sisodia has a huge hand in Excise policy scam, investigation is going on, no one can save him.”
Shraddha murder case: Aaftab’s post-narco test concludes
The post-narco test of Aaftab Amin Poonawalla, the accused in the ghastly murder of his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar in Delhi’s Mehrauli area, concluded on Friday. His test was conducted inside the Tihar prison by the FSL officials.
As per sources, the team from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini had reached Tihar jail for the post-narco test at around 11.30 a.m.
“A four-member team had reached Tihar Jail No.-4 on Friday along with the investigating officer for a post-narco analysis session of Aaftab,” said a senior FSL official.
“The test started around 12. He was again asked similar questions and his answers will be matched with the questions from the previous narco analysis session,” said the sources.
If needed, the narco test will be done again, claimed the sources.
Further details were awaited.
Meanwhile, the prison authorities have also increased the security of his barrack after the police van was attacked by men, who were armed with swords.
Though his confessions in the narco test cannot be used in the court, yet it proved that the investigators were proceeding in the right direction.
Pertinent to mention here that the findings of both polygraph and narco test are not admissible in the court. These tests will only help the Delhi Police gather evidence, and thereby increase the possibility of prosecution of the guilty.
Warrants against 16 to thwart Hanuman Chalisa call at Shahi Eidgah in Mathura
To thwart a call by a Hindu outfit to recite the Hanuman Chalisa inside Shahi Eidgah mosque on December 6, the Mathura city magistrate has issued bailable warrants against 16 people connected to the outfit.
Mathura Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Martand Prakash Singh said that no permission has been sought by any organisation and cases have already been registered against two people so far for attempting to gather a crowd for the event.
Last month, the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) had urged all its leaders and supporters to arrive at the mosque, adjacent to Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, on December 6 to recite the Hanuman Chalisa.
ABHM president Rajyashree Bose Chaudhary had said, “The event will take place on December 6. The peaceful recital of Hanuman Chalisa will be conducted at Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi between 12 and 12.30 p.m.”
Sanjay Kumar Pandey, SHO of the Govind Nagar police station said around three dozen people have already been bound by notices. Being bound by a notice is a situation wherein an executive magistrate serves a show cause notice with a surety bond to a person on the apprehension that he/she may disturb the peace.
“Those who failed to respond and fill the required surety bond have been issued bailable warrants by the court of the city magistrate. Sixteen people have been issued warrants,” he said.
Chaudhary, meanwhile, condemned the police action and said, “We have planned a peaceful event. As such, there is no reason for police to intervene because we will offer prayers at the site.”
The ongoing dispute involves ownership of 13.37 acres, which the petitioners claim belongs to the Lord Shri Krishna Virajman.
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