IAS officers aided corrupt bank officials: Delhi Assembly panel report

New Delhi: A multi-crore-rupee scam happened in a government cooperative bank and two IAS officers delayed a probe against corrupt bank officials and lied during an inquiry, according to a Delhi Assembly committee report tabled in the house on Wednesday.

According to the ‘Interim Report of the Committee of Petitions’, the alleged corruption took place in Delhi Nagrik Sehkari Bank Ltd and a large number of illegal voters elected the bank Directors.

Two Indian Administrative Service officers — J.B. Singh and Shurbir Singh — were current and former Secretary-cum-Registrar of the Department of Cooperative Societies, under which the bank functions.

The committee asked Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash to initiate criminal proceedings against both IAS officers “for acts of commission and omission to help the corrupt”.

The report also urged the Chief Secretary to submit an action-taken report to Speaker Ram Niwas Goel within a month.

“Nothing else but corruption can explain such connivance with a group of ex-Directors who had been found guilty in many inspections and inquiries,” the report said.

Aam Aadmi Party Chief Spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, who headed the committee, said that many of the bank members existed only on paper and that no inquiry was conducted into it by the two IAS officers, despite a High Court order for an inquiry.

He claimed that former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit herself had purchased 500 membership forms of the bank.

Bharadwaj termed the banks operations as “open theft” and said that officials had bought “ladoos” for Rs 11 lakh, among others.

The AAP had earlier alleged that Dikshit knew about this “scam” that occurred during her term but did not take action.

Bharadwaj had said that of the 67,000 bank members, only 14,000 were found genuine and that Congress leaders were involved in the “scam”.

The AAP MLA alleged that it happened under Dikshit’s nose and M.M. Kutty, the Delhi Chief Secretary till December 2017, was Dikshit’s Principal Secretary back then.

When Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Vijender Gupta questioned Bharadwaj, he said they were willing to inquire more into the matter, but the central government should not oppose if Kutty was called for questioning.

The AAP-led Delhi government had had rocky relations with Kutty when he was the Chief Secretary.

The report was adopted by the Assembly after discussions.