Four MCD officials, two others get jail terms in a CWG case3 min read . Updated: 02 Sep 2015, 05:35 PM IST
The case relates to CWG street lighting scam which had caused a loss of Rs1.4 crore to the exchequer
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced five persons, including four Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, to four years jail term each and the managing director of a firm to six years in prison in the first conviction in a 2010 Commonwealth Games scam case. The case relates to CWG street lighting scam which had caused a loss of ₹ 1.4 crore to the exchequer. Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge Brijesh Garg awarded four-year rigorous imprisonment each to MCD superintendent engineer D.K. Sugan, executive engineer O.P. Mahla, accountant Raju V. and the civic body’s tender clerk Gurcharan Singh and private firm Sweka Powertech Engineering Pvt. Ltd’s director J.P. Singh.
These five convicted persons were sentenced for various offences including criminal conspiracy, cheating and using forged documents as genuine of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by public servant by corrupt means and abusing position) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The court also jailed the firm’s managing director T.P. Singh to six years for the offences of cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, using forged documents as genuine under the IPC and Section 13(1)(d)(criminal misconduct by public servant by corrupt means and abusing position) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“In this case, the allegations proved against the convicts are quite serious in nature. They had conspired together and had cheated the MCD/GNCTD for forging the tender documents, a valuable security, and have also forged the tender opening register," the judge said. The firm was fined of ₹ 70,000 by the court which also slapped a fine of ₹ 30,000 each on the MCD officials, ₹ 42,000 on T.P. Singh and ₹ 22,000 on J.P. Singh. All the six convicted persons were present in the court at the time of pronouncement of the order.
During the arguments on the quantum of sentence, CBI prosecutor Praneet Sharma had contended that the convicts had caused a loss of over ₹ 1.42 crore to the MCD and maximum punishment of seven years should be awarded to them. The advocates appearing for the convicts, however, had sought leniency from the court. Advocate P.K. Dubey, representing 53-year-old T.P. Singh and 48-year-old J.P. Singh, had pleaded that they be released taking into account the period already spent by them behind bars, claiming it was they who had suffered loss and not MCD.
The street lighting scam is one of the ten corruption cases relating to the holding of the mega sports event in October 2010. The CBI had said in the chargesheet that tenders were invited by the civic agency in 2008 and various companies, including Sweka Powertech applied for it, while the MCD commissioner had approved only four companies.
As per the chargesheet, after opening of the tenders and announcing of the rates by Sugan in MCD, certain cuttings and interpolations in the tender papers of Sweka were made and amount quoted by it was increased, which led to a loss of about ₹ 1.43 crore to the state exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to the convicts. The court had earlier termed Sugan as the “kingpin" of the conspiracy and had said the tenders were opened in his office on 14 May 2008, and he had allowed fudging of Sweka’s tender papers.
It, however, had discharged Philips India official Mehul Karnik, as it noted that the company initially participated in the tender process but ultimately did not submit the tender. The prosecutor had argued that all the circumstances clearly indicated that the chargesheeted people were hand in glove with each other and had conspired together to cause a pecuniary loss of ₹ 1,42,83,000 to MCD.
During the trial, the four MCD officials had claimed that the sanction granted by the then MCD commissioner to prosecute them was not valid in the eyes of the law. They had argued that the sanction was invalid as the commissioner was involved in the entire tender process. The court, however, rejected their contention saying the sanction was valid and “no failure of justice" has been caused to them and the MCD commissioner had not participated in the tender opening process, when all the offences were committed by the convicts.
“MCD commissioner was never a party to the actual tender opening process on 14 May 2008. Since the commissioner has never participated himself in actual tender opening process on 14 May 2008, it cannot be said that he was aware about the various illegalities committed by the accused persons, which were finally approved by him and the ‘corporation’. Therefore, no ground for ‘bias’, against commissioner in granting sanction for prosecution of his subordinates, is made out, in the facts and circumstances of the present case," the judge said.