CWG street lighting scam:charges framed against 7

New Delhi: A Delhi court today framed charges against seven accused, including four MCD officials, for their alleged role in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) street lighting scam case.

Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah framed charges against MCD Superintendent Engineer D K Sugan, Executive Engineer O P Mahla, Accountant Raju V and the civic body`s tender clerk Gurcharan Singh.

The court also framed charges against private firm Sweska Powertech Engineering Pvt Ltd, its Managing Director T P Singh and Director J P Singh, who were allegedly illegally favoured in the award of street lighting contract during the games in 2010.

The court framed charges against the accused after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. "Formal charges framed against the accused. They have pleaded not guilty and claimed trial," the judge said.

The court has fixed April 3 for recording of prosecution evidence in the case. The court framed charges against the accused under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), under the IPC and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that in view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the MCD had decided to upgrade street lighting to international standards.

According to the charge sheet, tenders were invited by the civic agency in 2008 and five companies, including Sweska Powertech applied for it, while the MCD commissioner approved only three companies.

The court while putting the firm on trial said it has fraudulently used as genuine, the forged documents for tender that culminated into the July 2008 agreement between it and the MCD for upgrading the street lighting system in Delhi.

"Sweska Powertech Engineering Pvt Ltd through its Managing Director T P Singh and Director J P Singh for the period 2007-08 and place (Delhi), dishonestly / fraudulently, used as genuine the forged tender documents, culminating into an agreement, which was executed on July 1, 2008 between you (firm) and the MCD, awarding work for upgradation of street lighting of MCD roads in Phase-I, New Delhi," the judge said.

Pointing out that as the firm used forged documents as genuine, committing an offence, punishable under section 471 (use of a forged document or electronic record as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code, the judge added, "I hereby direct that you all be tried by this court."

The street lightning scam is one of the ten corruption cases, committed in run up to the holding of the October 2010 mega sports event.

As per the CBI chargesheet, after opening of the tender and announcing of the rates by accused Sugan, certain cuttings and interpolations in the tender papers of Sweska were made and amount quoted by it was increased, which, the agency said, led to a loss of Rs 1,42,83,000 to the state exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused.

The court, earlier, had termed MCD Superintendent Engineer Sugan, the senior-most official, as the "kingpin" of the conspiracy, and had said tenders were opened in his office on May 14, 2008 and he allowed fudging of Sweska`s tender papers.

It, however, had discharged Philips India officer Mehul Karnik, as it noted that the company initially participated in the tender process but ultimately did not submit the tender.