Govt officers under anti-graft team scanner

The Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi government has told a court here that it is probing the role of government officials in alleged corruption in fitness test of commercial vehicles.

The ACB told the court that it has already issued notice to former transport commissioner R K Verma to join investigation into the alleged irregularities in awarding and execution of contract for fitness test of commercial vehicles.

Appearing before Special Judge Narottam Kaushal, the ACB said investigation with respect to involvement of public servants is at an advanced stage.

“The then transport commissioner R K Verma has been served a notice under section 160 CrPC (Police Officer’s power to require attendance of witnesses),” the court said.

The submissions were made by the investigating officer while seeking extension of judicial custody of Nitin Mahawat, director of ESP India, and Puran Chand Tamta, CEO of Tambros India Ltd, an alliance partner of ESP India.

The duo was arrested by ACB on February 26 for allegedly siphoning off crores of rupees in fitness tests of commercial vehicles in the national capital in connivance with the transport department.

The court extended their judicial custody till April 9. It dismissed their plea that they cannot be booked under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act unless a public servant is involved or found to be involved. “Since the investigation against public servants is at an advanced stage, the argument does not survive,” court said.

Mahawat and Tamta are accused of “grabbing the work of fitness test of commercial vehicles from the government by misleading it with the connivance of officials of the transport department and siphoning off crores of rupees.”

The ACB had registered a case in this regard pursuant to the complaint of RTI activist Vivek Garg alleging that the contract for lane test of commercial vehicles before grant of fitness certificates was granted by the Delhi government to ESP India without inviting any tender.

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