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As Delhi LG approves probe against Satyendar Jain in CCTV scam, read details of the case of the former AAP minister allegedly taking ₹7 crore to waive penalty

Incidentally, in 2018, AAP’s current I.N.D.I. Alliance partner Congress had levelled serious allegations against Arvind Kejriwal's government regarding the tendering of CCTV installations. Back then, Congress leaders claimed that AAP issued a fresh tender only to benefit a Chinese government-backed company, Hikvision. 

On Saturday (6th July), Delhi LG V K Saxena approved a recommendation for a probe under the Prevention of Corruption Act against jailed former Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain in a bribery case related to the installation of CCTV cameras in the city, Raj Niwas officials said. Interestingly, Congress had raised the issue of corruption in this project and accused AAP of compromising “national security” by giving the contract to a Chinese government-backed vendor in this project. Congress leaders had also demanded Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation over this issue. 

Former Delhi Minister and AAP leader Jain is currently in judicial custody in a money laundering case. According to Raj Niwas officials, Jain received a bribe to the tune of Rs 7 crore from vendors of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which was awarded the contract to install CCTV cameras in Delhi. As per the allegations, Jain demanded a bribe in exchange for waiving the Rs 16 crore penalty imposed on BEL for the delayed installation of CCTV cameras in 70 Assembly constituencies of Delhi.

The officials further stated that Jain was the PWD minister and nodal authority of the project of installing 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras in Delhi at the cost of Rs 571 crore. It was awarded to BEL. Incidentally, the CCTV installation project, which is currently under scanner over allegations of corruption, was among the key promises of the Aam Aadmi Party after it came to power in 2015 in the National Capital. However, the bid was opened for the current project in 2018 and the contract soon started facing allegations of corruption. 

Notably, out of the Rs 571 crore, Rs 321 crore was for installation, while the Rs 250 crore was for maintenance for 5 years, electricity charges, and data charges. As per the government order, the project was to start on 15th June 2018 and was to be completed by 15th June 2019.

The officials added that Delhi LG agreed with the proposal of the Directorate of Vigilance to refer the matter under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act to the Union Home Ministry for approval of the investigation against Jain by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB).

Congress raised the issue of corruption and national security in CCTV installation contract

Incidentally, in 2018, AAP’s current I.N.D.I. Alliance partner Congress had levelled serious allegations against Arvind Kejriwal’s government regarding the tendering of CCTV installations. Back then, Congress leaders claimed that AAP issued a fresh tender only to benefit a Chinese government-backed company, Hikvision. 

Congress leader Ajay Maken had alleged that the first tender for the installation of CCTV cameras was floated in November 2017 but the AAP government rejected it because Hikvision was not on the vendor list of BEL. Later, it floated the second tender in January 2018 to help the Chinese company bag the contract.

Congress further alleged that the AAP government had “compromised national security” by giving the contract to a Chinese company and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A complaint against Satyendar Jain was filed by an employee of BEL

The case against Jain is based on a complaint filed by a BEL employee in September 2019 who incidentally had to face an internal departmental inquiry and was later terminated from the job for highlighting the same. According to the officials, the employee had alleged that the company paid the bribe money to Satyendar Jain through its vendors. Apart from recording the complainant’s statement, the agency corroborated the complaint as the ACB also obtained information from secret sources.

The ACB has been probing the case since January 2023. In the complaint, the BEL employee alleged that the bribe was paid through vendors since questions were bound to be asked in a Public Sector Undertaking. Citing the case file, officials alleged that “repeat orders” were issued to them, indicating the commission of an offence, as reported by Times of India. 

Officials stated that the ACB had recorded the statement of the complainant, who faced a departmental enquiry (DE) in connection with the case. 

The official said, “The complainant also provided the copy of minutes of proceedings of DE against him in which he had mentioned about the incident of demand and payment of bribe amount of Rs 7 crore to Jain.”  

Officials added that the directorate of vigilance had submitted to LG that a prima facie case under PoC Act was made out against Jain based on the statements of the complainant and other evidence collected in the matter. 

The CBI filed an FIR in this alleged scam in December 2022.

Details mentioned in the Minutes of the meeting during the Departmental Enquiry in BEL

According to a report by The Sunday Guardian, on 4th September 2019, an internal inquiry proceeding was held at the BEL’s Sahibabad-based guest house and it involved officials of the BEL. The proceeding was held against three officials of BEL namely Man Mohan Pandey, R.K. Goyal, and Sumit Krishna. Notably, they had prepared an inquiry report, which busted the alleged scam that took place while awarding the contract to build the sensitive Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) sites. Their inquiry report had indicted top officials of BEL for colluding with private companies. 

The internal inquiry noted that BEL officials admitted that a Delhi Minister was demanding a bribe for waiving penalty on the BEL for delayed installation of CCTV cameras, in the wake of assembly elections. 

After the inquiry report named these three officials, the BEL first suspended them in May 2019. Later, the inquiry proceedings were started which went on till September 2020 when they were ultimately terminated from their jobs.

Subsequently, the BEL appointed D.K. Singhla and Jeetendra Singh as its representative in the inquiry committee. While Suresh Katiyal, a General Manager level officer with BEL was appointed as the Inquiry Officer. He went on a private defence company soon after his retirement. Singhla was the then Deputy General Manager of Human Resources, and Singh was the then Assistant General Manager.

The Minutes of Meeting (MoM) carry legal sanctity and are considered a vital part of any such proceedings as the mandatory document during such meetings is signed by all three parties – one being inquired, a representative of the government organization, and the enquiry officer. 

As per MoM, one of the representatives of the BEL, Jeetendra Singh, told the three officials (Pandey, Goyal, and Krishna) that the Delhi government had decided to impose a fine of Rs 16 crore on BEL in August 2019 for BEL’s inability to complete the installation of the CCTV on time.

During the inquiry, Singh was questioning the three officers for their stance on tackling corruption. Quoting Singh, Pandey said, “At that time, the PO (Presenting Officer which were Singh and Singhla) told me that he (Singh) has been made the in-charge of the implementation of this project (CCTV installation project) and LD (Late Delivery penalty) was a ploy of one of the cabinet ministers of Delhi government to collect funds for the upcoming election. He said that since BEL cannot give money directly he (Singh) has been tasked with the job to see how the vendors can be paid extra so they can give the money to the Cabinet minister.” 

Incidentally, the MoM was signed by Singhla, Singh, Katiyal and Pandey.

Pandey also quoted the same statement of Singh — that a Delhi minister was seeking money to waive of the Late Delivery penalty during the inquiry proceedings held on 25th January 2020, as recorded in the MoM and signed by the BEL representatives.

Additionally, on 28th August 2020, Man Mohan Pandey submitted his reply to the then Chairman and Managing Director of BEL, in response to the finding of the inquiry report. In that letter as well, Pandey mentioned that Jeetendra Singh told him during the proceedings about the Delhi minister asking for money from BEL in view of the Assembly elections. 

In the letter, Pandey also mentioned that he had brought this to the notice of the BEL leadership, but nothing happened.

Speaking with The Sunday Guardian, Manmohan Pandey, and Sumit Krishna confirmed the content of the MoM and stated that Jeetendra Singh had told them during the inquiry proceedings that he had arranged for Rs 7 crore to be paid to the Delhi minister for waiving off the penalty of Rs 16 crore that was imposed on BEL.

Meanwhile, Satyendar Jain resigned as minister in the Arvind Kejriwal cabinet in February 2023, months after he was arrested in the money laundering case. In May 2022, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Jain in a money laundering case and the AAP leader is currently in judicial custody. 

Earlier this year, the Delhi LG gave his approval for a CBI investigation against Jain for allegedly extorting Rs 10 crore from Sukesh Chandrasekhar, who was then lodged in Tihar Jail in another extortion case.

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Paurush Gupta
Paurush Gupta
Proud Bhartiya, Hindu, Karma believer. Accidental Journalist who loves to read and write. Keen observer of National Politics and Geopolitics. Cinephile.

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