The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Centre and the AAP government to respond to a PIL seeking CBI probe into alleged misappropriation in the Rs 3,200 crore Cess fund meant for migrant and construction workers in the national capital.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi government and Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers (DBOCW) Welfare Board and directed them to respond to the petition by NGO — PT Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Sansthan.
Senior Counsel Siddharth Luthra appearing for the petitioner organization brought to the notice of the Court, some incriminating documents annexed with the petition which shows rampant corruption by the Delhi Government and Welfare Board hand in hand misusing the Delhi Building Cess fund of about Rs.3000 cr by fraudulently giving benefits to non construction workers such as auto drivers, factory workers, tailors, hawkers etc.
The NGO, also represented through advocates Yogesh Pachauri, R Balaji and Nachiketa Joshi, said each state has its own ‘Cess fund’ which is collected for the owners/ employers of building and other construction works under the Building and Other Construction Workers (RE & CS) Act, by collecting one per cent on the cost incurred on the project. Till recently Delhi Cess fund has collected around `3,200 crore. The fund was created exclusively for the benefit of registered construction workers. During the hearing, Delhi government counsel Sanjoy Ghose submitted that the credentials of the organisation need to be verified.
The plea said that during the lockdown, Delhi government announced that `5,000 per month will be transferred to all construction workers.
After hearing the petitioner and on perusal of the documents, the High Court directed for impleadment of Anti Corruption Bureau as one of the necessary party since number of complaints are pending with the Bureau.
The bench has directed all the parties to submit their reply before the next date of hearing. The matter has been posted for next hearing on 2 July.