New Delhi: The bonhomie between Swami Agnivesh and the Congress is not new. The Congress-led Delhi government had in year 2006 allocated fund worth Rs 18 lakh to Swami’s NGO, Bandhua Mukti Morcha, for a survey on bonded labourers, which now has become a matter of concern for both as the issue is under scanner.

According to reports, the Delhi government released Rs 18 lakh to Swami Agnivesh’s Bandhua Mukti Morcha (Bonded Labour Liberation Front) for a survey on bonded labours by flouting the norms. The NGO also hurriedly prepared a 60-page report and submitted it to the government.

Along with the expenditure on grocery items, the survey included even telephone bills of office, but failed to mention either the bonded labours or their employers. 

Notably, after five years of sitting on the matter, the Auditor General is now preparing to examine the nexus.

The then Delhi government had released the amount to Agnivesh’s Jantar Mantar situated organization for the survey in nine districts. However, no agreement papers were prepared in this regard.

In reply to an RTI, the Divisional Magistrate has clarified that the decision to conduct the survey was not taken under any application but decided by the government. Perhaps, that was the only reason why the NGO got the full amount in advance.

The 60-page report submitted by the organisation in 2007 could have been discarded immediately as it had put the percentage of bonded labourers in the capital at 90 per cent.

The survey had also submitted 160 page expense report to the Delhi government which included Rs 38,000 telephone bill of the Jantar Mantar based organization, ration for labourers etc.

(JPN/ Bureau)