Transport scam: Delhi BJP demands removal of minister

Last Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 23:53

New Delhi: Delhi BJP on Monday demanded removal of Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami alleging that he was trying to derail the investigation into multi-crore transport scam which is being probed by Anti Corruption Bureau of Delhi Government.

The ACB has been probing the alleged irregularities in award of contract for fitness test of commercial vehicles to a private firm in 2008 without inviting any tender.

Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel alleged that Goswami obtained report of the investigation by ACB "illegally" and was trying to hush up the probe.

Earlier this month, senior BJP leader Harsh Vardhan had alleged it was Rs 1,000 crore scam and demanded a CBI inquiry into it, claiming that investigators were not allowed to carry out a thorough probe as high-profile people including the Chief Minister were involved.

Goel today demanded registration of FIR against all those involved in the scam. He alleged that former Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf were involved in the scam.

"The cases related to this scam should be transferred to the CBI or an SIT (Special Investigation Team) should be constituted to probe the scam and bring the guilty to the book," Goel said.

Goel also accused Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and some senior officials of trying to derail the investigation.

"There is evidence on record which shows how the high and the mighty in Congress have resorted to influence peddling to hush up this huge scam," he said.

A case was registered in the scam on a complaint of RTI activist Vivek Garg alleging the contract for lane test of commercial vehicles for fitness certificates was given by the Delhi government to ESP India flouting the norms.

Yusuf, who was transport minister when the process for award contract was started, had termed the allegations as "totally baseless" and "politically motivated".

The ACB had told the court that it was probing the role of government officials in alleged corruption in the case. The investigators had issued notice to former Transport Commissioner RK Verma to join investigation into the alleged irregularities.

In its report to court last year, the ACB had said that contract for crucial fitness test of commercial vehicles was awarded to the firm without any tender with approval of Delhi Cabinet but "no irregularities" could be found on part of the Chief Minister.

The ACB had also found that rules were violated to give "undue favour" to ESP India in award of contract.

The investigators had arrested Nitin Mahawat, director of ESP India, and Puran Chand Tamta, CEO of Tambros India Ltd, an alliance partner of ESP India on February 26 for allegedly siphoning off crores of rupees in fitness tests of commercial vehicles in connivance with the transport department.

A former Deputy Commissioner of Transport Department was also arrested.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 23:53

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