Sheesh Mahal Scam 

Sheesh Mahal Scam 

Author:- Preyansi Anand Desai, a student of The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

The Bharatiya Janata Party (after this BJP) has stirred up political hell by dubbing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s mansion renovation controversy as the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ controversy. Responding to the outcry following the discovery of documents showing huge expenditure on restoration projects, the BJP held rallies and demanded a thorough investigation into the alleged fraud.

Following the Lieutenant Governor’s letter pointing out violations and “large expenditure” allegedly sanctioned by “Mrs. Hon’ble CM” during the outbreak, the CBI launched an investigation. The scene took a sudden turn when the Central Bureau of Investigation (after this CBI) launched a preliminary inquiry into alleged financial irregularities related to CM’s rehabilitation. CBI officials directed the Delhi Public Works Department to submit all documents related to maintenance in advance by October 3rd, 2023. The main objective of the inquiry was to ascertain whether there was financial misconduct or excessive expenditure during the renovation of the Chief Minister’s mansion. 

The controversy also gained momentum after the Controller General of India (after this CAG) launched a “special audit” to probe alleged “administrative and financial” irregularities that occurred during the renovation of Arvind Kejriwal’s government mansion named “Sheesh.” Mahal”.

There are a few notable inconsistencies in the disclosures by LG VK Saxena regarding the Delhi Chief Minister’s report. According to the investigation, the PWD initiated the construction or reconstruction of the new building, which was canceled as a renovation. Notably, the PWD allegedly neglected to prove ownership of the land and failed to obtain the necessary clearances from the “building committee” before starting the work.

Over time, the initially anticipated cost of the construction project Rs. 15-20 crore was out of hand. According to the statement, the total expenditure so far is a staggering Rs 53 crore, more than three times the original estimate. Besides, Kejriwal has been accused of violating the Delhi Tree Protection Act by illegally cutting down or moving about 10 trees.

The revelations in the furniture spending surge report raise a lot of questions. According to reports, the Delhi government paid around Rs 5-8 lakh per curtain and allotted a staggering Rs 97 lakh to install 23 curtains at the Chief Minister’s Bhavan. The six carpets were reportedly purchased with taxpayers’ money for about Rs 19.89 lakh.

Deor Pearl Marble imported from Vietnam worth around Rs. 3 Crore added to the luxury. Surprisingly, the chemicals needed to treat the marble cost an additional Rs 21.60 lakh. The installation of six almirahs at a reported cost of Rs 40 crore for the Delhi CM house was another big touch.

The government building was renovated at a staggering cost of about Rs 6.3 crores, increasing its size. It now has two kitchens. Citizens and political observers are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the investigation that has put Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership under scrutiny due to growing controversy, raising serious concerns about fiscal responsibility and transparency in the administration.

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