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ED Files First Chargesheet In Delhi Jal Board Money-Laundering Probe

The chargesheet has identified five individuals and a company as the accused that include former DJB chief engineer Jagdish Kumar Arora, contractor Anil Kumar Agarwal, former NBCC general manager D K Mittal, Tejinder Singh, and NKG Infrastructure Limited.

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The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday filed its first chargesheet for money-laundering investigation connected to suspected wrongdoing in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

The prosecution complaint was filed by the federal agency before a special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Delhi on March 28, according to PTI.

The chargesheet has identified five individuals and a company as the accused that include former DJB chief engineer Jagdish Kumar Arora, contractor Anil Kumar Agarwal, former NBCC general manager D K Mittal, Tejinder Singh, and NKG Infrastructure Limited.

The ED has alleged that the bribe money obtained from corruption in a DJB contract was funneled as election funds to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi. The agency had also called Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning in the case, but he did not appear before them.

Kejriwal was taken into custody by the ED on March 21 in connection with another money-laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the excise policy for the national capital.

The agency conducted raids on the properties of Kejriwal's personal assistant Bibhav Kumar, AAP's Rajya Sabha MP and treasurer N D Gupta, former DJB member Shalabh Kumar, chartered accountant Pankaj Mangal, and others as part of their investigation in February.

The basis of the ED case is an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which accuses Arora of awarding a DJB contract to NKG Infrastructure Limited for a total cost of Rs 38 crore, despite the company not meeting the technical eligibility criteria.

The ED arrested Arora and Agarwal in the case on January 31.

NKG Infrastructure Limited bagged the contract by submitting "forged" documents and Arora "was aware of the fact that the company does not meet the technical eligibility", the agency has claimed.

An ED statement has alleged that Arora "received" bribe in cash and in bank accounts after awarding the contract to NKG Infrastructure Limited and "passed on" the money to various people managing the DJB affairs, including "persons connected with the AAP".

"Bribe amounts were also passed on as election funds to the AAP," the federal agency has alleged.

The AAP has been accused by the ED for the second time of accepting kickbacks. According to the allegations, the party used Rs 45 crore out of a total of Rs 100 crore, which was obtained through bribes from the scrapped excise policy of 2021-22, for their campaign in the Goa Assembly elections led by Kejriwal.

The agency has said the DJB contract was awarded at "highly-inflated rates", so that the bribes could be collected from the contractors.

"As against the contract value of Rs 38 crore, only about Rs 17 crore were spent towards the contract and the remaining amount was siphoned off in the guise of various fake expenses.

"Such fake expenses were booked for bribes and election funds," the ED has alleged.

Delhi minister Atishi had denied the charges at a press briefing and claimed that the case was another attempt to tarnish the image of the AAP and its leaders.

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