Advocate Anamika Roy Choudhary
As we see MCD scam continues to trend all over Delhi Assembly session, media, web portal, news portal. Now the question is what is this MCD scam? According to AAP allegation North Corporation of Delhi has waived off Rs 2,500 crore rent dues of South MCD.AAP party member that is the Kejriwal Government ordered a probe for the misappropriation of Rs 2457 crore by North Delhi Municipal Corporation as the civic body waived off rent dues of south corporation. Further, the additional chief secretary (urban development) will investigate the matter.
The month of Dec 2020 saw that AAP alleging “the MCD scam is bigger than the Congress Common Wealth Games scam. This relate to one corporation. God knows how much money they have siphoned in last 15 years. As BJP governs the entire three corporations.”
Now the question arises whether waiving off the rent prove it to be a scam? Let us see the allegation and respond of the alleged party but first we need to understand what MCD is?
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is the largest municipal bodies in the world, plays a major part in the lives of 16 million delhiites
The municipal corporation is trifurcated into three bodies North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation. MCD also have five major departments under it Health, Education, Engineering, CSE (safai vibhaag), Slum and JJ Department. The health care department is responsible for the prevention and protection against diseases and promotion of health care facilities. The Education department for construction of infrastructure for school, colleges and promotion of the education system.
The engineering department caters to the construction and maintenance public infrastructure like public road, public toilet and public transportation.
The MCD has entrusted the public sanitation, maintenance of sewerage and disposal of waste to the CSE department. For the development of the slum area of Delhi the slum and JJ department has been set up. MCD so far not answerable to the state government. Though it receives its fund from Delhi Government Corporation, it reports to the Union Home ministry through the Lieutenant Governor.
Municipal Election is held every 5 years. Mayor is the head of each Delhi Municipal Corporation. The Bhartiya Janata Party has been ruling the Municipal Corporation of Delhi since last 15 years.
On 18th Dec 2020 a noisy scene was witnessed in the Delhi Assembly as the ruling party MLA Aam Aadmi Party men were carrying placard and raising slogan, were accusing BJP ruled municipal corporation in the capital involved in Rs 2500 scam and demanding CBI inquiry into alleged corruption.
On this allegation BJP accused the AAP party Kejriwal Government for withholding the fund of Municipal Corporation, which has resulted in non-payment of salaries to doctors, other health care staff, teachers and sanitation staff. Sharing the link of BJP version-
The standing committee chairman of North Delhi Municipal Corporation has once again added an amount of Rs 2477 crore to the budget income sources as the rent amount owed by SDMC for sharing office at the civic centre. This is likely put to an end to the corruption allegation levelled by the Aam Aadami Party.
The committee chairman Chhail Bihari Goswami, said that a sustained baseless propaganda was carried out on this issue. While delivering his budget speech Goswami said: “This lie of Rs 2,457crore scam was pushed by the opposition party through propaganda machinery only to sully the image of the corporation.
Not a single penny has been taken or provided but still our friends from the opposition used false propaganda to create this controversy.” Goswami claimed that people of Delhi were being misled by AAP. “They do not even know that the amount of rent is Rs 2,477 crore and not Rs 2,457 crore as they had claimed.
This was not shown in the commissioner budget and being the standing committee chairman, I am rejecting the proposal by the commissioner the amount has been added to income head 66/0122 and we continue to claim that SDMC owes us this amount as rent of Civic Centre “he said.
Another allegation by AAP
The BJP-led MCD, on the other hand, ended up spending Rs 730 crore on a flyover which was supposed to cost Rs 187 crore.Kejriwal was referring to the Rani Jhansi flyover which was conceptualised in 1998 and completed in 2018 by the north Delhi municipal corporation.
Refuting allegations of corruption made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) said on Friday that the Rani Jhansi Road grade separator project had been delayed due to the Delhi government.
Delays in acquiring land for the project, which was approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in 2006, were on account of Delhi government agencies, Vijay Prakash Pandey, the Leader of the House of the Corporation said. “The sole agency responsible for the delay is the Delhi government. We have carried out all our work, but the project is stuck because land acquisition got delayed and utility providers, which answer to the government, have not shifted services,” said Mr. Prakash. The cost of land, including acquisition and shifting of existing structures to alternative sites, went up from the initial estimate of Rs. 70.70 crore to Rs. 524.30 crore on account of increased circle rates and court-ordered compensation. The total cost of the project has gone up from Rs. 177.72 crore to Rs. 724.22 crore, and just 60 per cent of the project has been completed, Mr Prakash admitted.
Birth certificate scam
On 3rd Jun 2015 CBI raided the offices of Registrar Births and Deaths of NDMC at Rajpur Road, Office of SDM Model town, and Headquarters of NDMC at the Civic Centre. According to the report NDMC officials were issuing birth certificates by using unique SDM order number of genuine applicants.
A CBI officer said that the agency had discovered several instances of irregularities and was planning to launch a detailed inquiry. CBI’s raids were made following a tip off that officers of the BJP-controlled NDMC were allegedly working in connivance with touts for issuing birth certificates and minting money in the process. The officer said, “The CBI, Delhi have accordingly collected several incriminating documents and was further examining the matter.”
Further proving the allegation of fake birth certificate and death certificate scam in the BJP run Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the CBI on 4th of June 2015 carried out extensive searches on the residences of the civic bodies employees. “Cash of Rs 26 Lakh (approx.) was recovered from the residential premises of then Sub-Register, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Incriminating documents including birth certificates and stamps, etc. have also been recovered during searches,” CBI spokeswoman was quoted by the news agency.
AAP tweet on CBI unearths birth certificate scam
Vigilance Bureau Inspector Om Prakash holding fake Birth Certificate
Cash of 26 lakh recovered from the residential premises of Sub Registrar of Municipal Corporation Delhi
AUDIT IRREGULARITIES exposes multi thousand crore scam
On 30th Aug 2019 addressing a press conference at the party headquarters on the audit report, the chief spokesperson of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Saurabh Bhardwaj said: “AAP will be filing a complaint with the anti-corruption branch against the scam in the BJP-run MCDs as exposed in the audit report.”
“The audit report of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) was placed before the Standing Committee. According to the report, there is not a single department in the corporation in which corruption of crores of rupees was not found,” he said.
On the specific cases of corruption, he said: “MCD has an outstanding balance of Rs 1,177 crore in the collection of property tax, but the MCD leadership has filled its own private pockets instead of recovering this money, especially on commercial properties.”
The report mentions that farmhouses where the rich and powerful host weddings, were shown as agricultural land and low taxes were collected, resulting in a huge loss to the SDMC.
According to the audit report, four well-known properties, including Umrao, Four Points and Mapple Emerald account for “non-collection of taxes worth Rs 4,49,99,422. There are a lot of such properties in South Delhi, whose taxes are being manipulated by BJP leaders and MCD officials.”
Bhardwaj said: “It was revealed that in the internal audit department of the MCD around 147 units have been audited by internal audit, which constitutes only 4 per cent of the total units of SDMC whereas the rule states that 100 per cent audit is necessary.”
Speaking about the Vigilance Department, he said, “Around 313 regular departmental actions were referred to the Vigilance Department. The charge sheet was given by the Vigilance Department only in 165 cases. For the remaining 148 cases, the charge sheet has not been issued for many years against those involved in corruption.”
He further alleged that most of cell phone towers in Delhi are illegal. The fixed fee of the MCD for setting up the tower is Rs one lakh. The MCD has not taken that fee even from the towers which are under legal purview and revenue worth crores of rupees is being lost to SDMC, to satisfy private interests of BJP leaders.”
He said the MCD should investigate this and take action against the officials concerned. It is very shocking that the MCD has not acted on its internal audit report either. “AAP will file a complaint in the ACB against the multi-crore scam found in the SDMC,” he said.
“MCDs withhold the salaries of its sanitation workers, the doctors working in the municipal hospitals every two to four months, saying that they have no money to pay the employees. Instead of collecting crores of rupees that could have come to the MCD’s coffer, BJP leaders have bankrupted the municipal corporation,” alleged Bharadwaj.
Attaching herewith the twitter threads of AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj
AAP accuses of BJP of graft in waste segregation
On 4 th January 2021 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday again accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led municipal corporations in Delhi (MCD) of corruption and irregularities worth “crores” in the process of waste segregation involved in work related to road construction.
“The BJP-led MCDs has indulged in corruption in the waste segregation process. They pay Rs 1,450 in excess for every tonne to private contractors for segregation of waste concerning work related to road construction. When tenders were floated, the work was evaluated at Rs 1,800 per tonne. However, the MCDs are paying the private contractors Rs 3,250 per tonne. They did not follow any due process in arriving at this figure. It has been flagged in an audit report,” said the AAP’s in charge of municipal affairs Durgesh Pathak.
He added, “The scam is worth crores. The matter should be thoroughly investigated. The BJP leaders clearly have a role in this corruption. Action must be taken against them. If they claim that they are yet to see the audit report, I shall send it to them.
The BJP, however, was quick to dismiss the allegations as “baseless”.
The BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said, “Mr Pathak has a habit of flaunting the possession of irrelevant papers. His allegations, as usual, are baseless. Waste segregation with regard to road construction works were taken over by government companies long ago. In the last many years, none of the MCDs have made any payment for segregation of waste related to road construction works.”
This Report contains performance audits viz. ‘Development and Strengthening of Delhi Road Network by the Municipal Corporations of Delhi’, ’ and 13 paragraphs with financial implication of ` 324.81 crore relating to expenditure without approval, wasteful expenditure, non-recovery of mobilisation advance, unfruitful expenditure on projects, non-recovery of land cost, irregular payment of allowances and idle investment.
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, not a single toilet was constructed in two and half years since its inception on 2 October 2014 and all the funds totalling ` 40.31 crore allocated for this purpose remain idle in bank.
Performance audit on ‘Development and Strengthening of Delhi Road Network by the Municipal Corporations of Delhi’ brought out extra expenditure on works relating to construction and maintenance of roads in MCD such as post tendering increase in scope of work and design, non-recovery of advances, unfruitful expenditure due to incomplete remodelling of road, post tendering changes in bid etc.
Directorate of Education could not finalize Delhi Sports Policy as a follow up of National Sports Policy 2001. Sports facilities were not evenly distributed amongst various districts with the result that out of 13 districts, three districts did not have a single sports facility under DoE whereas six districts did not have any sports facility other than swimming pools.
Delhi govt releases ₹938 crore to pay salaries of MCD staff
On 4th Jan 2021 Delhi minister Satyendra Jain on Thursday announced that the Delhi government will release ₹938 crore to pay salaries of employees of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
Jain also pointed out that in the process of disbursing the salaries the Delhi government had to reduce the budget of the Delhi government’s other departments. “After reducing the budget of several departments of Delhi govt, we are releasing ₹938 crores to pay for the salaries of MCD employees,” Jain was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier in the day, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for mishandling Delhi MCD’s funds. Sisodia alleged that the BJP has left the MCD bankrupt.
“North and East municipal corporations are bankrupt, they have ₹12 crores & ₹99 lakh in their bank accounts respectively. They have a loan amount of ₹6,276 crores to be paid to the Delhi govt. BJP has left the MCDs bankrupt,” Sisodia was quoted as saying by ANI.
New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash on Wednesday announced in the meeting of the NDMC House that the civic body has released Rs 516.67 crore for paying pending salaries of several employees and pensioners.
The move comes amid an ongoing strike by scores of civic employees of the three corporations demanding their due salaries.
‘North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash today (Wednesday) announced in the meeting of the NDMC House that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has released Rs 516.67 crore for paying pending salaries of several employees and pensioners,’ the mayor’s office said in a statement.
He said that the corporation is making every effort to pay salaries to employees on time with its resources. Prakash said that the salaries of the sanitary workers for the months of October, November and December, amounting to Rs 228 crore; salaries of D category (other) employees month of September, amounting to Rs 43 crore; salaries of paramedical staff for the month of October-December (Rs 8.07 crore), have been released.
Salaries of C group (others) employees for the month of September, amounting to Rs 18.23 crore; salaries of nurses for the month of October-December, amounting to Rs 24.69 crore, salaries of teachers for August and September amounting to Rs 120.46 crore; salaries of B category (others) employees of September (Rs 8.64 crore); salaries of resident doctors for November (Rs 6.18 crore), has also been released, he said. Pension of some of the retired employees for July amounting to Rs 55.15 crore has been released, the mayor said.
Prakash urged all employees to end their strike and return to work. He said that the corporation is aware of all the problems of the employees and work has been started to resolve all the problems at the earliest.
He reiterated his allegation that the Delhi government is ‘trying to make corporations financially unstable by restricting its due funds’.
Here we have seen the allegation and the counter allegation of both BJP and AAP party. The AAP party leader Atishi and Raghav Chadha along with several MLAs planned for a peaceful protest against the misappropriation of fund Rs 2457 crore outside the residence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi L-G Anil Baijal on 13th Dec 2020 but ahead of that protest they were detained by Delhi Police. DCP Eish Singhal said “In view of the DDMA guidelines all public gathering are prohibited to prevent the spread of Covid 19. Moreover we have enforced, Section 144 of CrPC has been in force in New Delhi district. We have considered the (AAP) request but rejected it.”
Now our question is whether the AAP party do have any concrete proof against MCD for misappropriation of fund Rs 2500 crore. The AAP party allegation doesn’t have any supporting proof. Neither a rent waive off can be named as scam .
We should be thankful that we are a democratic country where both the ruling party and the opposition party keeps a check on each other by scrutinizing each others movement. Scams are political and economical disaster which causes social inequality and economic inefficiency, any incidence of scam show that the government is not working towards public welfare.
Both MCD and Delhi Government are mudslinging at each other but if we see the sufferer are the employees. Both the party are pointing finger at each other AAP says that MCD is corrupt the MCD blames Delhi government not releasing their fund to pay salary of their staff. Our Government should function together harmoniously and make the outcome more productive as we are developing countries we should be more responsible and prompt with all our approach.
However, like the two sides of a coin, every issue has positive as well as negative side yet transparency is an integral aspect of a democracy and must be guaranteed
Advocate Anamika Roy Choudhary
Research Head – Law Insider