The Telegraph
Friday , February 7 , 2014
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Games heat on Sheila

New Delhi, Feb. 6: Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government today registered a cheating case in a Commonwealth Games street light project, its second move in three days against a decision of the previous Sheila Dikshit-led Congress administration.

A probe committee had earlier noted that Dikshit took “unusual interest” in a firm in the Rs 286-crore project ahead of the 2010 Games.

The case has been registered with the anti-corruption branch (ACB), a state wing unlike Delhi police who are under the Centre.

Both the CAG and the other panel, the V.K. Shunglu Committee, had indicted the Dikshit government in the case in which over Rs 31 crore was allegedly “misappropriated”.

The CBI had, however, closed the case at the first stage of a preliminary inquiry, ruling out any “malafide intention” in the choice of the firm that supplied lights allegedly at fives times the cost.

The ACB has registered the FIR under Section 420 of the IPC (cheating) against “unknown persons”. Delhi minister Manish Sisodia sought to allay perceptions of vendetta by asserting that “our target is not an individual”.

“A total of Rs 31 crore was misappropriated and the lights were procured at a higher rate by giving a non-eligible firm backdoor entry. This was public money which could have been put to better use elsewhere,” the Aam Aadmi Party minister said.

The case comes three days after the Kejriwal government wrote to the President endorsing Dikshit’s indictment by a Lokayukta and seeking stringent action over alleged wrong-doing in issue of provisional regularisation certificates to illegal colonies.

In the lights case, the CAG and the Shunglu committee had found that SpaceAge Switch Gears Ltd was given undue advantage.