MCD rejects charge of employing ghost staffers, blames media

The MCD, facing court-ordered police probe for allegedly paying Rs 500 crore as salaries to ghost employees in the last five years, has told the Delhi High Court that it did not employ such persons.

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2011, 21:22 PM IST

New Delhi: The MCD, facing court-ordered
police probe for allegedly paying Rs 500 crore as salaries to
ghost employees in the last five years, has told the Delhi
High Court that it did not employ such persons and accused the
media of raising a non-existent scam.

"Since only 79,559 employees were found enrolled on
the biometric attendance system, the gap of 22, 853 was
noticed and the same was termed as ghost employees by a
section of the media despite the fact that this was merely the
gap in figures.
"Which could have been attributed to many reasons as
till then all the employees were not marking their attendance
through the biometric system. Therefore, certain gap in the
numbers was inevitable," K S Mehra, the Commissioner of the
civic agency, said in an affidavit.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which
will now take note of the MCD`s reply on August 4, had taken a
serious note of alleged conflicting figures given by the civic
agency on the number of its employees working in various zones
of the national capital.

MCD Commissioner, in his affidavit, said despite stiff
opposition from employees` unions, it had installed biometric
system at the offices to mark attendance of the staffs.

The civic body said that "as on November 20, 2009, the
total number of employees was 1,27,094, out of which 24,682
school staff was not intended to be covered under the
biometric attendance system.
"Since at that point of time, only 79,559 employees
were found enrolled on the biometric attendance system, the
gap of 22, 853 (127094 - 79559 + 24682 = 22853) was noticed
and the same was termed as ghost employees."

The civic body rejected the allegation of Delhi
government that it gave different number of ghost employees in
its various lists given to police making the probe into the
case difficult.

Taking note of the submission, the court had earlier
directed the MCD Commissioner to file a detailed affidavit
specifying the categories of employees and their work profile
within three weeks.

The civic body promised punitive action saying
"wherever any negligence or any willful default on the part of
any employee comes to light, suitable and prompt disciplinary
action will be taken against erring employees.

"Even the Crime Branch is investigating the matter and
all assistance is being rendered to the police ... no effort
will be made to shield any person."

Earlier, Delhi government counsel Najmi Waziri had
said the MCD caused a loss of at least Rs 99.33 crores every
year due to payment of a minimum salary of Rs 5000 to each of
its 16,555 ghost employees.

"The MCD is not able to show how many substituted
employees have been engaged and how they have been paid and
what work has been taken from them," Waziri had told.

"Any corporation which deals with public exchequer is
accountable to the public, how it spends money and whether the
employees have been really engaged and performed their duties
to earn their salaries," the court noted.

In May last year, the court had directed the city
police chief to conduct an independent inquiry into the MCD`s
`ghost` employees scam after allegations that a probe by the
civic agency would not be proper.

The court is hearing a PIL filed by Jagrook Welfare
Society seeking a CBI probe into the scam.

PTI