‘Unless the Delhi government provides the sanction order, the ACB will not be able to go ahead with the prosecution’.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government is yet to accord its permission to prosecute its former minister, Satyendra Jain, and other government officials who were allegedly part of the CCTV bribery scam. The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi Police had submitted its preliminary inquiry report in the Rs 7 crore CCTV scam involving Jain, other Public Works Development officials and employees of a Defence Ministry PSU, Bharat Electrical Limited (BEL).
As per rules, the permission from the Delhi government had to come in within the maximum time frame of three months. Highly placed sources within the ACB have said that they have still not received the prosecution sanction orders from the Delhi government despite a preliminary investigative report being sent to the Delhi government almost four months back.
“ACB had conducted its preliminary inquiry into the CCTV scam case and had submitted a detailed investigative report to the Delhi government in the third week of January, and ideally the decision of the Delhi government should have come by April, but more than a month of the three months’ time frame has already lapsed and the ACB has not received any prosecution sanction orders yet,” a highly placed source within the ACB told The Sunday Guardian.
The source further said that unless the Delhi government provides the sanction order, the ACB will not be able to go ahead with the prosecution. The ACB completed its preliminary inquiry into the alleged bribery of Rs 7 crore that was paid to former Delhi’s Public Work Department minister Satyendra Jain by officials of the Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) in the first weeks of January and had submitted its investigative report to the Delhi government.
Satyendra Jain is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail as he is one of the accused in a money laundering case. According to the preliminary report of the ACB, it has identified atleast five government officials, including three from BEL, along with Jain for their alleged role in the bribery scam.
As per rules, the Delhi government had a maximum time of three months to study the report and give its decision on whether to go ahead with the prosecution of those named in the report. It is only after the Delhi government gives its nod that the ACB can seek custody of Jain and other officials involved in this alleged corruption for questioning.
An ACB source had also earlier told The Sunday Guardian that during its inquiry, it found incriminating evidence against the former PWD Delhi Minister who allegedly took a bribe of Rs 7 crore from BEL officials. The source also confirmed to this newspaper that Satyendra Jain is the prime accused in this case and along with him at least three to five officers from BEL and PWD (together) have been found to be involved in this case.
This alleged scam was first reported by The Sunday Guardian on 8 January 2023, (‘Bribe was paid to get penalty waived in Delhi CCTV project’). Jain was allegedly paid the bribe around August 2019 after he announced that he was imposing a fine of Rs 16 crore on BEL for not meeting the deadline of installing 1.40 lakh CCTV cameras in Delhi by 15 June 2019 as was stipulated in the contract.
As per documents accessed by The Sunday Guardian, upon learning about the stiff penalty that the Delhi government was going to impose on BEL, officials from the PSU concerned met Jain after which a settlement amount of Rs 7 crore was arrived at to get the said penalty waived. The ACB began its investigation in this case on 11 January, after it was first reported by this newspaper. The ACB carried out its investigation for two weeks, during which it had gathered all the documents, including the minutes of the meeting where it was mentioned on record by BEL officials about handing over a bribe of Rs 7 crore to the then PWD minister of Delhi.
The anti-graft unit during its course of investigation spoke to people within BEL to ascertain more facts of the case; it has also recorded statements from officials of BEL who were part of the project to ensure a water-tight case in this matter.