Delhi: Now, preliminary CBI enquiry into AAP government's bus purchase
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary inquiry into alleged corruption during the Delhi government's acquisition of 1,000 buses. This comes only days after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was raided in connection with a liquor policy matter. Despite the fact that the investigation was launched some time ago, the investigating agency has yet to file an FIR.
Why does this story matter?
- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government has been the subject of various investigations of its ministers.
- The latest investigation comes just days after the agency filed a complaint against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and 14 others.
- The lawsuit concerned "irregularities" in the development of excise policy.
- The Enforcement Directorate has detained Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case.
CBI probe following MHA recommendations
Last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recommended a CBI probe into the matter after BJP raised the issue of corruption in the annual maintenance contract (AMC) of the bus procurement by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Later, a report was submitted by an expert committee following the directions of the then Lieutenant Governor, who referred the matter back to MHA for consideration.
Why was the preliminary inquiry initiated?
In January 2022, the CBI initiated the preliminary inquiry which is still underway following the recommendations of former Additional Secretary, Delhi government, Govind Mohan. According to officials, the CBI has not lodged any complaint in this matter as of now. A preliminary inquiry is the first step in ascertaining allegations in a complaint if they prima facie indicate a crime deserving an FIR.
What is Bus procurement case?
Last year, the Delhi BJP accused the state administration of corruption in its plans to spend Rs 890 crore on 1,000 buses and roughly Rs 350 crore per year on annual maintenance. Both contracts were awarded to the same company. For the past 12 years, the AMC has been set at Rs 3,412 crore. Later, the Delhi government placed the purchase order on hold.