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Delhi Jal Board bribe proceeds used by AAP in polls, says ED | Latest News Delhi

Delhi Jal Board bribe proceeds used by AAP in polls, says ED | Latest News Delhi

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged in a charge sheet that proceeds from a bribery case linked to irregularities in awarding a Delhi Jal Board contract were used for funding the Aam Aadmi Party’s elections and that the investigation in the matter is still in progress, according to court documents reviewed by HT.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED). (File)

The federal agency said it is probing the “final beneficiaries and utilisation” of approximately 2 crore that former Delhi Jal Board chief engineer Jagdish Kumar Arora acquired through bribery.

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The charge sheet stated that part of these illegal funds was transferred “for election funding of Aam Aadmi Party,” though it did not cite any disclosures or name any party functionaries.

ED initiated its money laundering probe based on a 2022 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case regarding alleged irregularities in awarding a contract for supply and maintenance of electromagnetic flowmeters to a company called NKG Infrastructure Ltd.

The charge sheet alleged that Arora illegally granted the 38 crore contract to NKG in September 2018 based on fake performance certificates issued by a former NBCC India official, Devendra Kumar Mittal. It claimed that between June 2018 and March 2022, Arora received 3.2 crore in bribery through an associate, Tejinder Pal Singh.

“Investigation revealed that the remaining (proceeds of crime) to the tune of 20,078,242 which had been acquired by Jagdish Kumar Arora, was transferred by him through Tajinder Pal Singh to various persons including other officers of Delhi Jal Board. Investigation also revealed that Jagdish Kumar Arora and other officers of Delhi Jal Board further transferred part of said (proceeds) for election funding of Aam Aadmi Party,” the charge sheet stated.

The AAP has previously stated that ED is trying to defame the party and has called the probe “political vendetta”.

“We welcome a free and fair investigation into any kind of alleged wrongdoing in DJB. But we condemn ED’s blatantly false allegation that the AAP or its leaders have anything to do with this case… Their only purpose is to defame chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party by creating a media sensation every day,” the party said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

ED has accused Arora, Mittal, NKG Infrastructure, its late director NK Garg, and proprietor of a subcontractor firm Integral Screw Industries, Anil Kumar Aggarwal. Arora and Aggarwal were arrested in January and are currently in judicial custody.

The agency elaborated that NKG Infrastructure received 24.7 crore from the Jal Board between 2019 and 2022. Out of it, it paid 18 crore to Integral Screw Industries as per the subcontract, retaining 6.4 crore as “commission without performing any work.”

During this period, AAP MLA Dinesh Mohania was the DJB vice chairman from 2015 to 2020 before the party’s Raghav Chadha took over for the period between 2020 and 2022.

The agency’s investigators claimed that NKG then paid 56 lakh bribe to Arora through Tajinder Singh while rest of the money, 5.80 crore (out of 6.36 crore) was dissipated by it in business expenses.

It alleged that Arora used 1.2 crore from the bribe money to purchase flats for his family and personal expenses like rent and legal fees.

Special judge Bhupinder Singh took cognisance of the charge sheet on Wednesday, and issued summons to all the accused in the case.

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