Illegal construction: CBI pulled up for shallow probe

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A city court in October pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for lacunae in their investigation into a case where government officials were accused of not conducting demolitions of unauthorised constructions in 2002.

The court on October 19 acquitted three accused in the case, including MCD engineer Ajay Kumar Shrotriya. While giving a clean chit to the trio, Additional Sessions Judge Anoop Kumar Mendiratta observed that the CBI had neglected to probe the “deeper” nexus between builders, their political bosses and officials from MCD.

“The premier investigating agency was expected to thoroughly investigate the case since the FIR was registered by CBI and the investigation commenced on the directions issued by the High Court… I am also constrained to point out that the investigating agency at its whims and fancies carried the investigation ignoring the role of any other junior engineer posted prior to or after Ajay Kumar Shrotriya in the concerned ward. A clean chit has been given to the Assistant Engineer, EE (executive engineer) and DC (deputy commissioner) along with builders and political bosses without bothering to investigate their role,” the judge observed.

The court directed MCD commissioners to take appropriate departmental actions against engineers who were found liable for not undertaking demolition action when required.

The court asked the three MCD commissioners to submit action taken report in the matter within eight weeks.

Judge Mendiratta also emphasised on the need to take quick action in cases of unauthorised constructions since the practice had grown over the years. He pointed out the fact that unauthorised basements were being constructed in violation of bye-laws, resulting in numerous instances of collapse of buildings.

As a remedy, he suggested: “FIRs need to be immediately booked against the owner or builder under relevant provisions of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act and also action be taken against JE (joint engineer), AE (assistant engineer) or EE (executive engineer) concerned if found to be in dereliction of duty or colluding by ignoring the compliance of the provisions of building bye-laws.”


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