Court to frame charges against 6 in CWG street lightning scam

New Delhi: A Delhi court is likely to frame charges on Monday against six persons, including four MCD officials, for their alleged role in a corruption case involving street-lighting before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah had decided on February 24 to frame charges against MCD Superintendent Engineer D K Sugan, Executive Engineer O P Mahala, Accountant Raju V and civic body`s tender clerk Gurcharan Singh.

Besides them, the court had also decided to frame charges against Director J P Singh and Managing Director T P Singh ofprivate firm Sweska Powertech Engineers Pvt Ltd, who were allegedly illegally favoured in the award of street lighting contract during the games in 2010.

Another accused Mehul Karnik, an employee of Philips India Pvt Ltd, was, however, discharged from the case. Except Raju and Karnik, all other accused are in judicial custody.

While passing the order on framing of charges, the court had said there was prima facie evidence to put these six persons on trial for their alleged roles in the scam case.

The CBI had charge-sheeted the accused under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), forgery under IPC and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The street lightning scam is one of the ten CWG-related scams, probed by the CBI.

The agency had in its charge sheet alleged that in view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the MCD had decided to upgrade street lightning to international standard.

According to the charge sheet, tenders were invited by the civic agency in 2008 and five companies, including Sweska Powertech applied for it, while the MCD commissioner approved only three companies.

After opening of the tender and announcing of the rates by accused Sugan, certain cuttings and interpolations in the tender papers of Sweska were made and amount quoted by it was increased, said the charge sheet adding that this led to a wrongful loss of Rs 1,42,83,000 to the state exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused.

The court had termed MCD Superintendent Engineer Sugan, the senior-most official, as the "kingpin" of the conspiracy, and said tenders were opened in his office on May 14, 2008 and he allowed fudging of Sweska`s tender papers.

Accused Gurcharan also neglected his duty to make entries in the register immediately at the opening of the tenders and the announcement of the rates, leaving room for later manipulations, the court had said.

"Had he noted rates announced by Sugan, it would have become very difficult to change the rates later in the bid document," the court had said, adding accused Mahla signed the fudged documents and would not have remained "a silent spectator without promise of his share in the booty."

It had said accused Raju, who was to detect over writings in the tender documents, cleared Sweska`s bid. The court had also said Sweska and its promoters T P Singh and J P Singh have been rightly arrayed as accused as tender was submitted by their company and the owner of a private company are the direct beneficiaries of any gain made by it.

It, however, had discharged Philips India officer Mehul Karnik, who the CBI said was present in the same room when the tenders were being opened, as it noted that the company initially participated in the tender process but ultimately did not submit the tender.


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