Eyebrows are being raised at the sudden alacrity shown by CBI in arresting 1989-batch IAS officer Rajendra Kumar and four others.
The case of Kumar is not new and it began way back in 2015, when for the first time another bureaucrat in the Delhi government Ashish Joshi acted as a whistleblower and demanded a probe against Kumar for the first time by moving Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB).
Joshi alleged that Rajendra Kumar had misused his power and position in granting favours to a private company.
Justifying the sudden arrest, CBI said that Rajendra Kumar, as a government employee, favoured a private company through five contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore between 2007-2014. Prior to this on December 15, 2015, the CBI conducted a series of raids including in the office of Arvind Kejriwal and the latter had termed it as “vendetta politics”.
The CBI had then said the raid wasn't conducted in Arvind Kejriwal's office but it was in the office of Principal Secretary to CM, Rajendra Kumar.
That day, reacting strongly against the CBI raid, Manish Sisodia had said that the Congress and the BJP were on the same page as far as using the CBI to create hurdles against their opponents. After these raids on the Delhi Secretariat, the CBI was castigated by a special court for "flouting" procedures with impunity and being "conspicuously ambiguous" in its probe in a graft case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and others.
The court also ordered defreezing of two bank accounts of a company, M/s Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd, which was alleged to have received contracts from Kumar, who had purportedly favoured it by abusing his official position.
Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain noted that the investigating agency was expected to follow the mandate of law. "However, in the present case, the CBI flouted this requirement with impunity."
The court noted that the CBI, neither in its reply nor during the arguments, could point to any entry in the accounts which suggested that huge bribe amounts were received in it prior to December 18, 2015.
The court further said, "CBI is conspicuously ambiguous and also not expanding arguments from where the commissions were received by the applicant company and in what manner the commissions are illegal."
In its order, the court noted that CBI could not explain what were the illegal commissions obtained in these accounts by the company. "The basis of seizure of the bank account does not appear that the applicant company has either not performed the work or performed sub-standard work," it said.
Monday's turn of events has led to a blame game, as the Aam Aadmi Party has described it as deliberate attempt to paralyse the Delhi government.