Delhi HC to hear plea seeking CBI probe into 'misappropriation' of funds for construction workers on June 16
The Delhi High Court on Monday said that it will hear on June 16 the plea seeking CBI probe into "massive misappropriation" of the Rs 3,200 crore funds meant for migrants and construction workers in the national capital.
When the matter came up for hearing before a single-judge bench of Justice V Kameshwar Rao, he listed it for hearing by a division bench of the high court on June 16.
The petition, filed by an NGO named PT Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Sansthan through advocates R Balaji and Yogesh Pachauri, sought directions to the Delhi government to disburse the funds to genuine construction workers entitled to receive the same.
The NGO submitted there is a deep-rooted nexus between the trade unions and outsourced board employees to carry out large scale illegal registration of non-construction workers as construction workers by charging huge amounts with a condition that they should be paid 40-50 per cent of the benefit amount.
The plea sought directions to an independent investigating agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the role of the respondent, Delhi government and Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board and to find out how cess funds, which has been constituted exclusively for construction workers, has been disbursed to non-construction workers for several years.
The plea also sought directions to restrain the authority concerned from releasing cess funds to those who are not entitled to receive the same.
It sought directions to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to audit the accounts of the board regarding the disbursal of cess fund preferably from the year 2015-16 to 2019-20.
"According to some government officials, more than 80 per cent registration has been carried out of non-construction workers and most of these beneficiaries have their own houses in Delhi and are not genuine construction workers," the plea said.
"Many of these bogus construction workers are in-fact owning apartments/houses in Delhi. However, these facts can be verified from the address mentioned in the sanctioned orders issued by the office of the Secretary Board," it added.
According to the petition, the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996 (BOCW Act) has come into existence through an Act of Parliament exclusively for the benefits and welfare of building and other construction workers.
Each state has its own fund called cess fund, which is collected from the owners and employers of building and other construction works as defined under Section 2 (d) of the Act by collecting 1 per cent on the cost incurred on the project.
The plea said that until recently, Delhi cess fund has been collected approximately Rs 3,200 crore and added that it seeks to prevent a "large-scale corruption and misappropriation" of the Rs 3,200 crore cess fund.