Blacklisted but given DJB tenders, 17 private firms booked by ACB

Mahender Singh Manral
An FIR under the Prevention of Corruption (POC) Act was registered Tuesday against the accused and the firms. (File)

The Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB) has booked 17 private firms and DJB engineers after payment worth around Rs 5 crore was allegedly released to the companies despite them failing to deliver equipment and services.

The Sunday Express has learnt that these 17 private firms were given tenders despite being blacklisted by the DJB’s vigilance department. In July 2018, the department had received complaints of a number of spurious tenders being given from 2016 to 2018.

ACB chief Arvind Deep confirmed that three separate FIRs have been registered under Sections 7 and 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and Sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. We have registered FIRs after we received complaints from DJB’s vigilance wing. We are probing the role of the accused, he said.

Officials said that a few days ago, the ACB received a complaint, filed by the head of the vigilance wing, alleging that they received information from a source about irregularities being committed by engineers and payments being made without receipt of materials and non-execution of work.

A vigilance team inspected a Rohini sewage pumping station (SPS) and found either work had not been executed or only part of it was done. Among five works, serious lapses were found. After scanning documents and visiting sites, it was found that most are bogus, a senior officer said. The DJB’s CEO did not respond to calls and messages seeking a comment. The CEO had given approval to the vigilance team to approach ACB.

The other complaint pertains to Bharat Nagar and Shalimar Bagh SPS, where the vigilance department found alleged connivance of DJB officials with private firms and contractors for allegedly releasing bills without execution of work or delivery of goods, an officer said.

The probe established that the department’s team did not check if the goods had been delivered. Prima facie, it appears the tender for the project was allotted in a biased manner, the officer said, adding that they are probing the role of the firms, as well as the selection and tendering process. The work orders issued since 2016 are worth Rs 5 crore, an official said.