Delhi HC to Hear Next Week Plea Seeking CBI Probe into Misappropriation of Rs 3,200 Cr Funds for Workers

The Delhi High Court Monday said its division bench will hear next week a PIL seeking CBI probe into alleged massive misappropriation of funds of Rs 3,200 crore meant for migrant and construction workers in the national capital.

The petitioner's counsel said the matter came up before Justice V Kameswar Rao who said the plea would be heard by its division bench on June 16.

The plea by PT Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Sansthan, through advocates R Balaji and Yogesh Pachauri, said each state has its own 'Cess fund' which is collected for the owners/employers of building and other construction works under the Building and Other Construction Workers (RE & CS) Act, by collecting one per cent on the cost incurred on the project. Till recently Delhi Cess fund has collected around Rs 3200 crores.

The fund was created exclusively for the benefit of registered construction workers.

The plea said during the COVID 19 lockdown, it was announced by the Delhi government that Rs 5000 per month will be transferred to all the registered construction workers.

However, when the organisation's volunteers enquired, the workers revealed that none of them have received any amount from the government, the plea added.

"The enquiry revealed that there was rampant corruption in registration of bogus construction workers and concerned authorities have registered non-construction workers as construction workers so that they can misappropriate the Cess fund," it alleged.

It alleged that there is misappropriation of Rs 3,200 crore Cess fund which is managed by the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers (DBOCW) Welfare Board due to bogus registration of lakhs of non construction workers as construction workers without any verification and sought CBI probe into the purported large scale corruption.

It claimed that most of these bogus workers are security guards, auto and taxi drivers, factory and shop workers, house wives, maids, tailors and barbers.

"It is very shocking how these irregularities and loot are happening by the DBOCW Welfare Board headed by the Minister of Labour, Delhi government, who is also the Chairman of Board," the lawyers said.

Besides seeking probe by CBI or an independent investigating agency, the organisation has urged the court to direct the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to conduct a detailed statutory audit of the accounts of the board as about Rs 150-200 crores have already been transferred in the bank accounts of non-construction workers who are living in Delhi since long in their own houses.

The petition said around 80 complaints have been lodged at a police station by the officials of the Labour Department and an FIR was registered by the Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi government but nothing concrete has been done to stop the loot.

It claimed that the misappropriation of funds has been allegedly done by the dishonest employees of the Board, unions and other middlemen.