#CBI Probes ‘Irregularities’ In Renovation Of Kejriwal’s Residence


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a Preliminary Enquiry in connection with alleged irregularities in the construction and renovation of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s new official residence in Civil Lines.

On Tuesday, the CBI sent a letter to the Delhi government's PWD department, asking it to provide all documents related to the work at the CM’s residence, including recommendation, approval and request from the “client” to execute “work of super specification” such as modular kitchen, marble flooring and ornamental work.

A Preliminary Enquiry is a statutory verification of allegations by the investigating agency, based on which a decision to file an FIR is taken.

This comes months after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to conduct a special audit into the alleged irregularities and violations in the reconstruction of the official CM bungalow.

L-G House officials said the MHA had asked for the audit after taking note of a May 24 letter received from the L-G Secretariat pointing out “gross and prima facie financial irregularities” in the reconstruction of the CM’s official residence in the name of “addition/alteration” recorded in a “factual report” on the matter.

The Aam Aadmi Party called the CBI move an attempt by the BJP to corner Kejriwal. “All the investigating agencies have been deployed to corner Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. But the love and blessings of two crore people of Delhi are with him. Till now investigating agencies have filed more than 50 cases against him but they amounted to nothing. Nothing will come out of this either,” it said in a statement.

In a letter to the PWD's Chief Engineer (Flyover), the CBI investigation officer sought by October 3 certified copies of all documents related to the allegations of irregularities and misconduct.

The letter also sought records of “bids submitted by the bidder in respect of addition/alteration in the residence of CM, proposal submitted by the client regarding addition/alteration, including extra work in the CM’s residence, approval of the building plan by the competent authority regarding addition/alteration in the CM’s residence, request from the client for executing work of superior specification including modular kitchen, marble flooring, superior wooden wardrobe, interior artistic work and ornamental work etc”.

The CBI also asked the PWD Chief Engineer to provide relevant CPWD guidelines regarding “super specification and quality of the items, including civil and electrical, to be used”.

The PWD has been asked to provide guidelines “for award of additional work to the contractor in running contract and mechanism to decide prices of such items, and guidelines regarding deviation in approved scope of work while enhanced work portion to be added in the running work”.

The CBI has sought documents showing that the CM’s residence is a load-bearing structure.

The CBI has also asked for documents of payments made to the consultant, award of contract along with guidelines, payments made to the contractor and “any other document relevant to the said construction”.

Earlier, a report on the alleged irregularities in the reconstruction of the CM’s official residence was prepared by the Chief Secretary, which alleged that mandatory sanction of building plans as per applicable building bylaws was not taken before work was started.

The report also noted that the initial cost for construction work was between Rs 15 crore to Rs 20 crore but this was “inflated from time-to-time” to the extent of approximately Rs 53 crore. It also cited violations of the MPD-2021 and violations related to environmental norms among others.

(With inputs from agencies)


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