CBI raids Delhi Minister Jain’s residence, registers case over PWD hiring

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The CBI on Wednesday raided Delhi Health and Power Minister Satyendar Jain’s residence over alleged violation of norms in hiring 24 architects on a creative team in the Public Works Department (PWD) and registered a case in this regard.

In its FIR against Jain, PWD officials S.K. Srivastava, the then Engineer-in-Chief, Manu Amitabh, the then Principal Director (Projects), A.K. Pait, the then Deputy Director (Admin) and P.C. Channa, the then Project Manager, and others, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleged that they in the capacity of public servants during 2015-16 entered into a criminal conspiracy in the matter of awarding tender to a private firm Soni Detective and Allied Service for hiring a creative team for PWD works.

The CBI found that members of the creative team were appointed through Soni Detective which was neither a specialised agency nor had any past experience in the relevant field.

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The CBI alleged that Jain and other PWD officials abused their positions as public servants “for deliberately changing the terms and conditions in the Notice Inventing Tender (NIT) so as to make the private company eligible for participating in the tender for the hiring of the creative team” for several PWD projects relating to schools, hospitals, housing, smart city, redevelopment of land, elevated roads and augmentation of school building, which require elaborate brainstorming and planning for its architectural designs as well as new methods of their financing and execution of minimum cost and time.

“Budget requirements were also met from some other unrelated heads unauthorisedly which was found improper and in violation of various guidelines and regulations,” the FIR said.

It said that the expenditure of the creative team, which was initially planned to be charged from the budget head of elevated corridor for Barapullah-III, was dishonestly changed to that of 1,000 Mohalla Clinics on February 19, 2016, which is improper and in violation of various guidelines of the finance department.

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“With mala-fide intention, a note dated October 15, 2015, by proposing to hire professionals through an outsourcing agency and expenditure in this regard, was proposed to be met from the contingency of the project ‘elevated corridor for Barapullah-III. The note mentioning the professionals may be hired through outsourcing agency was initiated without incorporating any reason. Similarly, it was improper/illegal for having proposed to meet the expenditure or creative teams from any project related to Barapullah-III.

“The same was approved by Satyendar Jain who was not competent to accord approval as per guidelines of the finance department,” the FIR said.

It also mentioned that the number of professionals was increased from 17 to 24 without any justification and approval.

The agency conducted searches at five locations in Delhi, including the residences of PWD officials and others in the case in which the CBI in 2017 had initiated a preliminary probe.

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Reacting to the raids on Jain’s house, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “What does Prime Minister Narendra Modi want?” His deputy Manish Sisodia quoted a report that said the NITI Aayog had favoured the creative team.

“The only job left with the CBI, Delhi Police, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department is to stop the works done by the AAP in Delhi. Our crime is that we are working to make the national capital a better place and improve the health and education here. All this is done to harass us. The Aam Aadmi Party is not going to stop with this practice,” he said.

–IANS

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