Transport scam: Businessmen refused bail

Delhi court refused bail to two businessmen arrested for siphoning off crores of rupees in fitness tests of commercial vehicles in the national capital in connivance with transport department.

Updated: May 04, 2013, 21:37 PM IST

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday refused bail to two businessmen arrested for allegedly siphoning off crores of rupees in fitness tests of commercial vehicles in the national capital in connivance with the transport department.
Special judge Narottam Kaushal dismissed the bail pleas of Nitin Manawat and Puran Chand Tamta who were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi government on February 25.

The court had earlier rejected their bail pleas in March.

Manawat, Director of ESP India, and Tamta, CEO of ESP India` alliance partner`s Tambros India Ltd, were arrested in a case registered on a complaint of RTI activist Vivek Garg alleging the contract for lane test of commercial vehicles for fitness certificates was given by Delhi government to ESP India without inviting any tender.

The duo had sought bail saying since their arrest, ACB has not arrested any other accused and no headway has been made in the probe.

ACB`s investigating officer Pankaj Sharma, however, opposed their bail plea saying they are probing the role of government officials and have issued a notice to former Transport Commissioner R K Verma to join investigation.

He also said they had arrested a former Deputy Commissioner of the Transport Department who was granted bail by the court.

ACB had accused Manawat and Tamta of "grabbing the work of fitness test of commercial vehicles from the government by misleading the cabinet with the connivance of officials of the Transport Department and siphoning off crores of rupees".

It had submitted the duo had been charging fee for several tests, of which only a few tests were actually conducted. Besides the I&C test, the accused had promised to carry out CNG leakage and loaded lode test for Rs 1,600 per vehicle but the same were never carried out.

ACB also said the Transport Department gave "undue favour" to ESP India in the work of laying eight additional test lanes "as till today two additional test lanes could have been made functional while advance payment for eight lanes has already been disbursed".

The agency had also said many officials in the Transport Department were hand in glove with the accused persons and more arrests are likely to be made in the near future.