New Delhi: Hours after Anti-Corruption Branch Chief Mukesh Meena ordered a probe against a senior bureaucrat for allegedly allowing conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold in 2011-12, Delhi government on Monday strongly denied the charge, saying due approvals of 'competent authorities' were taken for the conversion process.
The ACB claims that it has received a complaint of alleged irregularity against CB Sanghi, who holds the charge of Principal Secretary, Vigilance, following which the investigation was ordered by Meena whose appointment as the ACB chief by the Lt Governor was rejected by AAP government.
"While he was posted as CMD at DSIIDC in 2011-12, he allowed conversion of industrial plots to freehold. This is beyond his power as no permission was taken from DDA or Lt. Governor, which is mandatory in this case," the senior ACB officer told PTI.
The industrial body of the Delhi government, however, denied any wrongdoing, and said, "due approvals" were sought before the conversion.
"It is clarified that the conversion from leasehold to freehold has been done following all the laws and after seeking due approvals of the competent authorities.
"The scheme for conversion from leasehold to freehold was introduced by the Ministry of Urban Development and duly approved by Lt Governor of Delhi. All the cases of leasehold to freehold conversion have been done after receipt of due conversion charges approved by the LG from each applicant," DSIIDC said in its statement.
The issue has opened up a fresh tussle between the AAP government and the Lt Governor.
"While he was posted as CMD at DSIIDC in 2011-12, he allowed conversion of industrial plots to freehold. This is beyond his power as no permission was taken from DDA or Lt Governor, which is mandatory in this case," the senior ACB officer said.
ACB claims advocate Vivek Garg gave a complaint, following which an investigation was ordered by Meena. In his complaint, Garg has also asked to check involvement of other people in it.
In his complaint, he has questioned why Sanghi allegedly took "no permission" from DDA and LG before allowing the conversion.
Last month, the Vigilance department of Delhi government had tried to clipp the power of Meena by asking him to only look after training work and monitoring of cases undergoing trial till the High Court decides on the validity of his appointment.
The Department has asked ACB's Additional Commissioner SS Yadav, backed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to supervise the main work including investigation.
According to Kejriwal government, the director of Vigilance department of Delhi government is the head of ACB and is competent to allocate work among the officers in the anti-graft body.