Delhi govt school classroom scam: Vigilance directorate recommends probe by specialised agency

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.”

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