After Liquor, Transport Cases And Bungalow Splurge, Kejriwal Government Now Faces Heat Over 'Jal Board Scam'
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has come under fire after news of one of its officials was alleged to have demolished a 15th-century palace to construct his own house.
The case is being linked to the Delhi Jal Board billing scam when several officials of the water body were arrested on 22 February 2023. The officer under question, Udit Prakash Rai, was the former Chief Executive Officer of the Board.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has continuously alleged of a massive ongoing scam in the Delhi Jal Board since 2015.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has also written to the Delhi government over 22 times about an audit of the board but no reply was given.
On 20 February 2023, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the Delhi Police arrested several Delhi Jal Board officials under allegations of siphoning off Rs 20 crore through fake water bills.
Delhi Police also arrested officials of two e-payment gateway firms, namely Freshpay IT Solutions and Aurrum ePayments, in connection with the scam in Delhi Jal Board.
Reportedly, the payment firms set up e-kiosks around the cities for bill payments, but the officials never reconciled those payments with the firms.
According to ACB Chief Madhur Verma, the names of the arrested accused are Rajendran Nair, Gopi Kumar Kedia, and Dr Abhilash Vasukuttan Pillai.
It is has been alleged that the firms in return paid bribes to these officials and siphoned off funds over Rs 20 crore. The accused were absconding from India and were arrested upon their return.
An FIR was registered last year after the detection of embezzlement of more than 20 crore in connivance with officials of Corporation Bank (now Union Bank of India) and Jal Board.
Notably, Satyendra Jain was in-charge of the ministry when Rai destroyed the historical monument and erected a personal residence in its place. Jain is currently in jail in relation to another corruption case.
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