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HC hints probe by Investigating Agency into corruption in MCD

By Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today said it would direct an investigating agency to probe the corruption in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), if the authorities did not dismiss the officials found guilty of conniving with ''builder mafia'' in permitting illegal constructions in the Capital.

A Division Bench of Justice Vijendra Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma directed the MCD to initiate action against the officials below the rank of Deputy Commissioner and Superintending Engineer in whose zones, unauthorised constructions had been carried out since 2001 in connivance with contractors, builders and unscrupulous people.

The Court appointed four advocates -- Ashok Arora, Sidharth Mridul, Rakesh Khanna and Pushkar Sood -- as Court Commissioners in four zones -- South, Central, Karol Bagh and Rohini -- to identify unauthorised buildings. The MCD has been asked to assist the Court Commissioner by providing all information.

Criminal cases should have been filed against the delinquent officials for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices, the Court observed. ''Prosecute them and show them the door,'' the Judges said.

The Court asked the Central Government to deal with the MCD as it was flouting the Court's direction with impunity. ''Even after two months, not a single big fish is in the net,'' observed the Court.

For the first time, the Union Government appeared before the Court and submitted that it was aware of the magnitude of unauthorised constructions in the capital.

The Judges expressed their dismay with the MCD authorities for following the ''pick and choose'' policy in raging the buildings of the common man and leaving the houses and establishments of the ''big fish'' including the politicians and influential persons.

The Court rejected the status report filed by the MCD, saying that the authorities were silent about paticulars on demolition of unauthorised constructions and action against the 95 officials in the building department.

''How could the MCD repatriate two guilty Deputy Commissioners to their parent departments without taking any action?'' the Court asked.

Senior Counsel A S Chandhoke appearing for MCD assured the court that all the illegal buildings would be raged to ground and action would be initiated against the delinquent officials.

Fixing April 20, as the next date of hearing, the Court asked both the MCD and the Urban Development Ministry to file their status report.

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